|Published:||Oct 04, 2013 5:56 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Oct 04, 2013 6:21 PM EDT|
CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Cape Coral has more than 400 miles of canals. When emergencies happen on the water, the fire department is ready to make a rescue.
It's armed with four special vessels.
We took a trip in Marine One, a 27 foot Boston Whaler. It can pump water directly from underneath the boat through pipes and out the front, shooting water up to 750 gallons a minute.
Battalion Chief of training Tim Clark says the boats can be deployed 24 hours a day and in every type of weather. They never stay docked for long.
"We average a pretty good number of calls a month," he said. "We get boat fires, we get called out for overturned vessels we get called by the Coast Guard for assistance with vessels taking on water. We get kayaks in the water that also get flipped over," he said.
YouTube video of Marine One, shot in 2009, shows it battling a boat fire in front of Cape Harbour. Firefighters who operate it, like Kel Verplank, must be specially trained to handle the unique vessel.
"Whenever we come on board we always bring at least one set of firefighting gear, in case we have to do any kind of fire operations," Verplank said.
"Considering the amount of water, we have in Lee County and the amount of registered boaters, the amount of calls we get the are very valuable to us and the citizens," Clark said.
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