The Newtown Pentacle

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Posts Tagged ‘Fireboat Three Forty Three

sovereign assembly

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

What with the looming move to Pittsburgh coming up in just one week, and with Thanksgiving and everything else going on at the moment, a humble narrator is forced into taking a bit of a break this week. Single images will be greeting you, thereby.

Hopefully – next week, “normal” posts will return, but there’s a possibility that during the first week of December you very well might still be seeing single images here. As mentioned – a lot of balls are in the air and are being actively juggled at the moment. At any rate, I’ll definitely be posting about NYC and Newtown Creek through the end of the year, and possibly a couple of weeks into the new one. I’ve really been all over hill and dale, and the blasted heaths and concrete devastations, in the last month. Everybody is asking, so – yes, I plan on continuing to post here at Newtown Pentacle and no – I’m not changing the name. Things will transition over to Pittsburgh, and I’m hoping that y’all will stick with me as I learn about and experience my new home. It’s an extremely interesting place.

Pictured above is the FDNY Fireboat Three Forty Three – and this is my second most pirated image. A few years ago, some guy in Ohio started selling prints of it, and he claimed that he had shot it. Pfah! I got this one back in 2011 at a Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance gala event which included a “parade of boats,” at Chelsea Piers on the Hudson River.

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Written by Mitch Waxman

November 22, 2022 at 11:00 am

unseen fingers

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

We only have nineteen days left until the end of the world on December 21 when the Mayan Calendar’s 13th b’ak’tun ends, and if you’ve got apocalypse problems, the FDNY Fireboat Three Forty Three is the sort of tool you will need to make it through the storm. I’ve talked a bit about this ship in the past, in the posts “growing ferocity” and “betwixt the horns“.

In another posting describing another model of Fireboat– “The Bravest”, a lecture conducted by an FDNY Harbor Unit commander- Chief James Dalton of the Marine 6 unit– which I had attended was mentioned.

Information passed on in this weeks Maritime Sunday posting is gleaned from the copious hand written notes I scribbled down during that lecture. Any errors will be due to my own confabulation of transmitted fact.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Three Forty Three is 140 feet long, and built for speed. Its flared bow allows it to cut through waves, and has a relationship to the engineering of the past, present, and future models of the Staten Island Ferry– height wise. The Marine Unit works with and utilizes land based fire companies to combat fires, and the boat is designed to accommodate and transport as many as thirty lubbers. The bulkhead is designed to flood and drain itself, which allows the boat to adjust its vertical height.

As seen in the shot above, however, it’s the monitors which amaze.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Monitor is what you call the high pressure water hose nozzle on a fireboat, and Three Forty Three has six. 5,200 gallons per minute, the main one of the fore is capable of 17,500 gpm alone. The monitors at the corners of the boat also serve as a self protection system, and operate as foggers to defeat radiant heat. In addition to water, they can also access and deploy two 1,600 tanks of fire retardant foam. There are also four manifolds which allow conventional fire hoses to be attached to the pumps, and connections are found for FDNY standard three inch and NJ five and twelve inch equipment.

Everything described is remote controlled from the hermetic wheel house.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

Below deck is an interagency municipal command center connected to an esoteric series of sensors and electronic systems. Situational awareness is the purpose of a lot of what happens on the lower deck. There is also the engine room, which outputs an inconceivable 8,000 HP to either the pumps or the four sixty inch variable pitch propellers which provide motive actuation. There is also a crane with a man basket and a monitor, and a 17 foot launch for rescues. Additionally, there are capstans which can be used for towing or anchoring at various locations onboard.

A hearty, and awe stricken, Maritime Sunday shout out is sent to the crew of the Three Forty Three, who will surely ride out the Mayan Apocalypse and probably end up saving the world.

Written by Mitch Waxman

December 2, 2012 at 12:15 am

growing ferocity

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– photo by Mitch Waxman

Witness the most technologically advanced fire fighting vessel on earth, the FDNY’s newest, known to commoner and king alike as the “Three Forty Three”. An enigmatic and photogenic craft, it’s still shaking out it’s bugs in the harbor of New York, and is regularly observed by a humble narrator. This ship (which is a pregnant point which will be discussed in a paragraph below) and it’s capabilities as reported exist on the edge of what would have been called science fiction 10 years ago, and exhibits the kind of cutting edge technology which the modern FDNY’s mission calls for.

Click here to witness the initial launch of the craft at the Marine 1 homepage.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

The question of whether a vessel is considered a boat or a ship is a bit contentious. Technical descriptions by maritime experts always use the mantra that a ship can carry and launch a boat, which defines what a “ship” is and what a “boat” isn’t. My buddy John Doswell of the Working Harbor Committee however, asks “have you ever heard of a fireship?”, and given his insider status regarding the retired John J. Harvey Fireboat and general maritime expertise one must lend certain shrift to his assertion.

Although, to me, the 343 is a $27 million vessel which can launch another craft as part of it’s onboard arsenal and design, so I have some difficulty referring to it as a boat.

from wikipedia

140-foot, 500-ton, $27 million dollar boat will be the country’s largest fireboat with a maximum speed of 18 knots. The Three Forty Three will provide the FDNY with the latest technology available for Marine vessels, including the capability of pumping 50,000 gallons of water per minute; nearly 30,000 gallons more than its predecessor. The need for this increased pumping capacity was graphically displayed as FDNY’s existing fireboats supplied the only water available for many days after the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. However, the technological advances of these new boats do not end there. The boat’s original design by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, B.C. will catapult FDNY’s Marine Division into the 21st century and beyond.

Because of the very real threat of additional terrorist attacks after 9/11, the boats will also be capable of protecting firefighters from Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear agents (CBRN). While performing in any of these hostile environments, the crew will be protected in a pressurized area that will also have its air supply filtered by special charcoal and HEPA filters. Assistance on the design of the CBRN system was provided by engineers from the U.S. military’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense and Naval Sea Systems Command. United States Navy.

– photo by Mitch Waxman

A sister vessel, the Firefighter 2, follows the same design principals as 343 although I haven’t managed to get any shots of it yet. Both will allow fire commanders to place as many as 50,000 gallons of water a minute in a gps guided arc onto a conflagration in Manhattan or on the harbor. Veiled references to parabolic calculations of the reach of this torrent have suggested to your humble narrator that it can be expected to reach further inland than any Fireboat in memory. Additionally, a forward ballast tank allows these ships to match the deck level of other vessels, allowing egress to the Staten Island Ferry amongst other civilian watercraft during emergencies.


  • Length, overall = 140′-0″ (excluding fenders)
  • Length, waterline = 130’–0″
  • Beam, moulded = 36’–0″
  • Depth, moulded = 16’–0″ (midship, deck edge)
  • Draft (maximum) = 9’–0″
  • Air draft design loaded waterline to highest point = 39’–0″ (maximum)
  • Main Engines = MTU 4×2000 HP- total = 8,000 HP
  • Propellers and Reduction Gears = Hundested 4 X Variable Pitch Propellers
  • Fuel oil = 6,850 US gallons (trial condition), = 9,350 US gallons (maximum capacity)
  • Fresh water capacity = 1,000 US gallons
  • Foam concentrate = 3,600 US gallons (total)
  • Sewage holding tank = 100 US gallons
  • Oily water = 120 US gallons
  • Sludge = 60 US gallons
  • Decon wastewater tank = 100 US gallons
  • Calm water trial speed – 20 mph at fully loaded condition operating at 100% vessel power rating (8,000 hp) and 15% sea margin.
  • Design seastate – 6′ significant wave height
  • Pumping capacity – 20,000 gpm on two engines as fire-fighting ship and 50,000 gpm on four engines as pumping station
  • Monitor throw – 700′ from midships
  • Operating crew – seven (7)
  • Fire-fighters – 27 in transit

Written by Mitch Waxman

May 25, 2011 at 11:56 am

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