A safety boat is in need of a replacement after suffering damage because of Hurricane Florence.
The New Bern Fire Rescue has been making do with their current Swift Water Rescue Boat by patching areas of the raft. However, it’s limited training.
“We had our exercise a few weeks ago and we had to [have] some more repairs,” said New Bern Fire-Rescue Chief Robert Boyd.
Fire officials say the boat is designed to travel into areas “normal boats” can not access.
“Jet driven so it can go in really shallow waters and very fast-moving water,” said Boyd.
The Golden LEAF Foundation has awarded the fire department $34,138 to replace the boat. An inflation kit, a fuel bladder, and a motor will also be purchased through the disaster recovery grant.
“It’s going to help as far as to maneuver ability and as far as us having to worry about the boat deflating or anything of that nature,” said Walton Ashley Jones, a fire engineer with the City of New Bern.
The old boat was previously used as a military surplus vessel. It will now serve as a training tool for firefighters.
New Bern Fire-Rescue anticipates having the new boat sometime in October.