MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – A donation from the Big Rock Foundation is providing new equipment for the Morehead City Police Department.

The donation of more than $70,000 helped the department purchase a new police boat and gear.

The boat will be out patrolling the water during the Big Rock Tournament, and that’s one of many places it’ll be used.

Morehead City Police Chief David Kelly said that their previous boat had a lot of maintenance issues, so the new one is a much-needed upgrade.

“We needed to go into a larger boat, a much quicker boat,” said Kelly. “One that has a draft that we can get into shallower waters with and has enough space that we can put a dive team on it or a search and rescue team.”

The Town of Morehead City came together to bless the vessel and crew before sending it off to the tournament.

“The wreath which symbolizes going out on our missions and making sure that they come back safely,” said Kelly. “Then certainly the champagne is what actually christens the boat to have it ready to be dedicated to the sea.”

Kelly said they are grateful for the donation, and it wouldn’t be possible without Big Rock.

“As always for Big Rock tournaments, charity first. That’s what it’s all about,” said Emery Ivey, president of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament.

Ivey said he’s hopeful they’ll be able to aid more people in the future.

“I believe it’s gonna be a record year for us as far as the amount of money that we give away to the winners,” said Ivey. “And inevitably that translates into more than we can give to the local community.”

Ivey encouraged everyone to come out to enjoy the women’s tournament starting Saturday, June 11, and the men’s tournament starting Monday, June 13.