Fire­boat that sank had crack, depart­ment says

The Washington Post Sunday - - COMMUTER -

A wa­ter­line crack in the hull of a fire­boat caused it to sink Aug. 23 at a ma­rina in South­west, a fire depart­ment spokesman said Fri­day.

The cause was de­ter­mined af­ter test­ing by a sur­veyor. The crack formed where two pieces were welded to­gether and was hid­den be­hind a sea chest that houses a fire pump.

The 29-foot-long boat was built in 2014 and bought by the depart­ment for about $300,000. It was the fleet’s newest and fastest, and was used pri­mar­ily for wa­ter res­cues.

Vito Mag­gi­olo, a fire depart­ment spokesman, said the boat is un­der war­ranty and ef­forts are un­der way to map a plan for re­pair­ing the boat and re­turn­ing it to ser­vice.

Mag­gi­olo said an in­de­pen­dent sur­veyor found that the ves­sel had been prop­erly main­tained but that it had re­cently been mod­i­fied.

The depart­ment cur­rently has two fire­boats: the 71-foot John H. Glenn Jr. and a backup Bos­ton Whaler. A new ves­sel is to be de­liv­ered by month’s end. — Peter Her­mann

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