Sep 14, 2018

New locally manufactured fire craft launched

A locally manufactured rapid response fire fighting craft that could respond instantly in controlling fires on board ships and boats was launched yesterday by the State Minister for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development and Rural Economic Affairs Dillip Wedarachchi at the Dikovita Fisheries Port yesterday (13).

This craft was manufactured entirely locally by Solar Marine Lanka and can travel at a speed of 35 mph and has the capability of spraying 600,000 litres of water per hour to a distance of 120 metres. It consists of all the facilities to successfully engage in an operation 200 nautical miles from the coast and return.

The fire fighting craft named BELUGA-18 can accommodate 06 sailors and they have been given special training in fire fighting at sea.

This craft also includes 8000 litres of chemical materials to control a fire caused by an oil spill.

This ship is also equipped with modern AIS technology that could precisely identify the location of a fire out at sea the moment it is reported by identifying the IMO number of the ship.

This craft is also specially designed to stay in the same location using GPS automatically during a fire fighting operation out at sea.

Expressing his views on this occasion, State Minister Wedarachchi said, “As a country we should be proud of this achievement. Several years back, I suggested obtaining such crafts to fight fires on board ships and station them at strategic locations in the North, East, Wayamba and South to assist fishing vessels in case of an emergency.

During the past several lives were lost at sea as we did not have such firefighting vessels in our possession. Hence, I suggest that this craft be developed further.”

Speaking on the occasion the Managing Director of the managing company S.D. Prematillake said, “This craft also has the capability of spraying water on it in the event the heat in a fire is too hot. The craft can detect the heat automatically and turn on the spraying device. We have used the latest technology available in the world in manufacturing this craft. It also has the facilities to treat the victims and transport them to the nearest port,” he said.

This company has already manufactured 80 high speed crafts for the Indian Navy and five for the Maldives. The crafts manufactured for India is being used by the Indian Coastguards. He further said that this craft would be further developed based on the specifications of the Sri Lankan government.