Northwind Marine Builds Boat For Beaching Operations

Issue 3 and Volume 12.

The Northwind Marine fire/rescue boat built for Edmonds fire and rescue personnel is a 28-foot aluminum vessel powered by two Honda engines and has a fire suppression system capable of flowing 3,000 gpm.
The Northwind Marine fire/rescue boat built for Edmonds, Wash., fire and rescue personnel is a 28-foot aluminum vessel powered by two Honda engines and has a fire suppression system capable of flowing 3,000 gpm. A special feature of the boat is a 36-inch bow door. (Northwind Marine Photo)

The city of Edmonds Wash., has one of more than 40 fire and rescue boats in service built by Northwind Marine, headquartered in Seattle.

Edmonds requested a special boat from Northwind, and the company modified its Argus Class boat design to accommodate the city on Puget Sound, creating a new class of boats named after the body of water upon which it will operate.

Northwind also has recently delivered similar boats to several ports in Ohio and Maryland. In the past 30 years, the company has built 44 fireboats for use in fresh and salt water ranging in size from 19 to 50 feet, according to Bruce Reagan, president of Northwind.

Reagan said the vessel built for Edmonds was “one of the nicest we’ve built” incorporating the latest in concepts and equipment.

Mission Requirements

The mission requirements for Edmonds’ multi-purpose boat were primarily to fight fire, perform water rescues and deliver large volumes of water to isolated shores. It’s also designed to rapidly deploy emergency medical personnel and equipment. That’s achieved with the installation of a 36-inch wide bow door.

Thomas Tomberg, Edmonds’ fire chief, pointed out the boat will be useful in fighting brush fires in areas primarily accessible from the water. In the past, firefighters were forced to gain access by scrambling over cliffs, or running down railroad tracks carrying emergency equipment to gain access.

Most of Edmond’s shoreline is either breakwater or riprap. Boats previously in service with Edmonds were not engineered to take the punishment of beaching on large shoreline boulders. As a result, victims far away from suitable beaching areas were difficult to rescue, and valuable time was lost transporting the patient back to the rescue boat. The Northwind boat pulls to the shore in 2.5-feet of water and deploys steps to beaches.

Additional features include a wide front cabin door to place backboard-transported patients on the casualty bench and a dive door with an integrated dive ladder.

A pair of Honda outboards rapidly propels the boat. Secondary propulsion and water delivery is provided by Northwind Marine’s proprietary diverter system.

An inboard gasoline engine powers a pump to supply monitors as well as hydrants that can deliver up to 4,000 gpm, either ashore, or to tankers. With a controllable manifold, waterpower can be directed to a waterjet to augment propulsion.

The overall length of the boat is 30 feet including two feet added for the outboard well. Maximum beam is 9 feet, 6 inches, the draft is 1.5 feet and the fuel cell holds 200 gallons. The company calls this type of boat the “Argus Class.” It was designed to meet third-party standards for special service craft, boats that are “heavily constructed …to withstand commercial conditions and are engineered and built to be used in emergency operations and daily patrol use including boarding of other vessels and normal beaching.”

Aluminum marine alloy plate is used in construction, while the structural framing materials are fabricated aluminum plate.

For information call 206-767-4497 or go to

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