The Korea Herald


Firefighters to get uncapsizable boat

By 이종민

Published : Jan. 5, 2011 - 19:04

    • Link copied

Han River rescuers are to receive a new high-speed, uncapsizable boat following a recent accident that claimed the lives of two of their colleagues.

Seoul Metropolitan Fire and Disaster Headquarters said Wednesday that it planned to deploy the 12-meter rescue boat at a water rescue department in Yeongdeungpo.

The boat has a top speed of 50 knots, faster than any of the current response craft, enabling the boat to respond to accidents on the Han River within 5 minutes of dispatch.

The new ship is specially designed to prevent capsizing, and it is built to automatically right itself if it does.

To prevent possible fires, the hull of the ship is built with aluminum, rather than the highly-flammable fiber-reinforced plastic, used on the other craft.

The vessel will also include four water cannons so the boat may also respond to fires.

“The new, high-speed boat is high in safety and is built for multiple purposes,” said an official.

“In the long run we plan to replace the older vessels in the fleet with the new model,” he said.

A 2-ton rescue boat capsized in the Han River near Jamsil Bridge in early December, while the five-man crew on board was attempting to salvage a corpse.

A combination of strong winds and choppy waves overturned the boat, trapping two crew members in the cabin of the ship.

The bodies of the veteran firefighters of 10 years were retrieved an hour later.

By Robert Lee (