Bridgewater buys $78,000 rescue boat for first responders

  • <p>FILE PHOTO</p><p>Bridgewater&#8217;s fire boat on the water in June.</p>

The Bridgewater police and the town's volunteer fire department will have access to a new $78,297 rescue boat by the spring of next year.

Town council recently ratified the purchase of a Professional Series Rigid Inflatable Rescue Boat from Dartmouth-based NewStar Marine and Scooter.

The new vessel will be manufactured and shipped from Europe.

While the new boat replaces the fire service's five-metre-long model from early 2000, the police chipped in cash because the water craft has been necessary in the past for its operational needs. One notable occasion was in July 2006 when a prisoner bolted from custody at the old Bridgewater courthouse and police used the fire department's boat to nab the man who tried to avoid capture by swimming the LaHave River.

Water rescue calls in Dayspring and Northfield district volunteer fire service areas often result in the necessity of Bridgewater's water craft being called into action.

The town's boat is also used during community events such as Christmas and Canada Day on the LaHave.

"With regular usage the department has realized the present boat due to its weakening hull and being physically too small and underpowered cannot efficiently perform search and rescue operations that have been performed in the past," Kirk Wentzell, the town's facilities supervisor, said in a report to council.

"It was with this knowledge that the department requested that council consider the capital budget request for the replacement of the rescue boat in this year's budget."

The new vessel is expected to arrive in January 2020.

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