Our reporter went out on a demonstration of the new Firecat from Feral Marine, led by the owner and chief builder of Feral Marine, Chia. Of the four passengers on the demo, our reporter was the only one who wasn’t connected to a fire department. Following is his report.
The first thing you notice about the Firecat, is how sleek she is. Trim and with a shallow, catamaran draft, the Firecat is perfect for rivers and harbors.
“You have to be able to move around, and fast,” one of the fire marshals told me as we boarded. “In a harbor or riverway you can’t waste time with 7 point turns.”
For our demo Chia took us out to the Bohol rez spot (link) to test firefighting with a controlled fire, and show us the life raft system.
In addition to fighting fires and being able to perform dual rescue with ocean grade rafts, the Firecat can use it’s crane to lift objects. “Sometimes you need to lift victims or items out of the water,” Chia explained to us.
One fire department chief was impressed by the cabin. “There’s lots of room here. Four crew seats and two pilots, not bad.” Someone else pointed out that there was more space on the deck too.
“You would be surprised how much we need this boat,” whispered one harbormaster. “A shallow draft firefighting boat that has a short turning radius? It’s a dream come true.”
Asked why he was whispering, the harbormaster grinned. “I don’t want Chia to hear how we all love it – it’s being sold for 2000, and it’s a steal!”