Biggest fire-fighting ship joins Hamburg fleet

Branddirector Westphal will cope with a new generation of big ships Branddirector Westphal will cope with a new generation of big ships

Due to join Hamburg’s growing fleet of workboats is its biggest-ever specialist fire-fighting ship reports Tom Todd.

The 43.5m Branddirektor Westphal is joining the Hamburg Fire Brigade in Germany’s biggest universal seaport after undergoing final tests. Its job will be to cope with fires on multi-storied ships like CMA CGM’s Antoine de Saint Exupéry, which called early this year and is the biggest box ship to berth in Hamburg so far. It is 400m long and x 59m and has a side height of 33m.

The Branddirektor WestphalI, which earlier reports said was costing some €16 million, has three water/foam cannon capable of projecting water to a height of 110m over a distance of 180m - well beyond the top box layer of ships like the Saint Exupéry. Capacity is put at 120,000 litres a minute - more than three times the capacity of Hamburg’s existing fire-fighting boats.

Builder Fassmer Werft reports that the Type LB 40 fire-fighter is 9.8m wide, draws 2.8m and has two Caterpillar C18 500kW main engines, two Schottel SRP190 rudder propellers and two Schottel STT170 bow thrusters as well as DP. Three CAT 32 diesels each of 1134kW operate the fire pumps of total 7,200 m3/hour capacity and other equipment includes two CAT C18 and one CAT C4.4 gensets. The newbuild is also equipped with a diesel soot particle filter and a catalytic converter.

Branddirektor Westphal will function as a fire-fighter but when not fighting fires, local authorities will utilise it for bridge inspection and other tasks around the port.Two additional Type LB 30 fire-fighting boats, also for service in Hamburg will, however, be multi-functional from the start.

Originally for service from 2019, they are now expected to be ordered by the end of this year for service from late 2020. Up to 30m long, 8m wide and drawing 1.5m, reports have said they will  together cost €14 million.

The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA) told Maritime Journal that by using multi-purpose vessels the number of ships in the Hamburg fleet need not be as great. The HPA operates its current varied fleet of specialist, yet multi-purpose, port boats using this principle.

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