Canadian Built Tampa Fireboat in Action

A multi-million dollar vessel owned by the Tampa Bay Fire Department in Florida boasted its cutting-edge pumping technology on Wednesday morning, when it put out a major fire at the Port of Tampa.

Early on June 16, several rubber conveyor belts at the port went up in flames, and the Patriot, the new fire boat, came to the rescue, myFox Tampa Bay reports. “With this vessel, the way that it’s built, its set up not only as a fire fight vessel but also as a command and control vessel,” Captain Bill Wade told the news source.

“[The firefighters] can control the situation from their side and make sure that fire crews are acting safely, because fighting a ship is much different than fighting a fire in a building.” Among its features, the Patriot can pump a total of 13,500 gallons of water per minute, which is the equivalent of nine fire trucks.

While recreational boaters don’t need the high magnitude of pumping power required by the fire department, marine pumps nonetheless prove useful to all boat owners. A modern 40’ vessel may have a dozen pumps or more, serving a myriad of functions aboard a modern yacht.

Bilge Pump

An electric bilge pump can remove water that accumulates in a bilge at a rate of about 60 gallons or more per minute. Fuel transfer pumps are typically vane pumps that offer reversible operation. Engine driven pumps can serve for engine cooling, or exhaust cooling. Freshwater pumps can supply water to all the fixtures aboard, transfer water, be used in a bait-well or deck wash-down situation. Finally, macerator pumps and be used to grind waste from a marine toilet, eventually pumping out the slurry mixture when the boat is docked.

John Marks/jmarks@lakewyliepilot.com - River Hills Marina dockmaster Chip Krell stands alongside Darrin, Anna and Durran Coley, owners of Commodore Yacht Club, Lake Club Marina and Tega Cay Marina. All four marinas received the first Lake Wylie Marine Commission designation as a Lake Wylie Clean Marina.

Four of the marinas on Lake Wylie, which sits on the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, have been certified by the Lake Wylie Marine Commission (LWMC) under the Clean Marina Program.

Under the program, the LWMC seeks to reinforce the environmental standards of the Lake Wylie area, the Lake Wylie Pilot reports. So far the Commodore Yacht Club, Lake Club Marina, River Hills Marina and Tega Cay Marina have been certified, indicating that they have met at least 80 percent of the environmental standards outlined by the group.

“This is the culmination of about 18 months of Clean Marina efforts,” Joe Stowe, executive director of the LWMC told the news source. He added, “We’ve been working with all the marinas on the lake to see if we can get a set of standards that would exemplify hard work in running a clean marina.”

The group’s standards for certification include emergency planning and maintenance as well as sewage and solid waste management.

Boaters can help meet these environmental goals by using macerator, waste pumps and waste tanks in their vessels. Macerator pumps grind waste from a marine toilet and pump the slurry to a black water holding tank, from which the waste can be “siphoned” out at a pump-out, when the boat is docked.