Fire safety needs are a requirement in the marine industry, especially considering the devastating consequences untamed fires can potentially cause. Solas Marine Services provides an industry leading solution by releasing a new, state of the art design firefighting and rescue boat, Beluga. Marketed as fire’s worse enemy, Beluga is equipped with two Cat® C32 propulsion engines (1600 hp), that provide both power and ease of mind by meeting EPA Tier 3 and IMO II emissions regulations.
“This uniquely designed, and highly effective fireboat is equally complimented by Cat’s powerful and reliable C32 engines. Cat dealer, United Tractor & Equipment (UTE), worked with Solas to provide engineering support for the twin engines powering the boat and will continue to provide superior product support to ensure the operational success of Beluga,” said Revanna BL, Caterpillar Territory Sales Manager in Singapore.
Beluga measures 17.91 meters with a beam almost 7 meters long. The vessel’s carbon fiber infused Catamaran hull allows it to travel light and faster at 35 knots, similar to a patrol boat. The 1-meter low draft hull also makes Beluga capable of achieving a closer approach to land even on shallow waters, putting the boat exactly where needed for rescue operations or firefighting missions. Beluga’s arsenal includes a high-power water cannon, capable of throwing water or foam at a distance over 100 meters away. Beluga’s electronically controlled, dynamic positioning system allows the boat to remain stable while shooting water. The maximum capacity for firefighting is achieved with Beluga’s 4,000-liter foam tanks. To ensure flexibility when it is needed most, the boat’s piston pumps can be set at foam concentrates of either 1% or 3%.
Another interesting feature of the vessel is that while firefighting, the boat’s surface temperature can remain cool with its uniquely designed water jet spray, protecting both the crew and the boat (pictured below).
Two controllers support the vessel; one main controller in the bridge deck and the other on the roof deck. For flexible operation, the system can also be controlled using a remote joystick. Additionally, Beluga complies with and is certified by Fire Fighting Compliance (NFPA III) and is fitted with four FiFi monitors as a standard offering and can include two additional monitors as optional offerings.
Beluga’s incomparable abilities make it both an efficient and powerful vessel for the firefighting and rescue boat industry. Mr Prashant Kamath, managing director of Solar Marine is very confident about the success of the boat, as there is great interest from oil majors, port trusts and other fire safety organizations.