New fire and rescue boat 'Marine 58' hits Canyon Lake

CANYON LAKE, Texas – It's new, modern and full of technology, and if you see it on the water at Canyon lake, it is a pretty impressive piece of machinery.

Canyon Lake Fire and EMS officials have unveiled the department's new floating paramedic unit, Marine 58. 

The boat is designed to save lives and help with search, rescue and recovery efforts around the lake.

"It gives us a lot more flexibility, a lot more staying power," said Canyon Lake EMS Chief Shawn Wherry.

One key component of Marine 58 is the new sonar and radar technology which helps divers pinpoint a possible drowning victim.

"It is not only more efficient, but it is safer for the personnel we support in the dive mission," Wherry said.

The boat is 36 feet long and is powered by two, 250-horsepower Honda engines. 

It has a crew of four. The bow is hydraulically operated and can be lowered to help with loading divers or patients.

"This boat serves as an excellent work platform (and) also a spot where we can stage additional personnel," Wherry said. 

There is enough room in the front of the boat to even carry an ATV.  

The rescue boat can carry as many as 16 people. It has a climate- controlled wheel house that can be used for an overheated patient or just to keep the crew cool. 

Crews also have the capability of carrying two patients who need to be put on backboards.

The new boat replaces an old inflatable rescue boat, and instead of loading up the old rescue boat at the station and heading to the site, the new boat is docked at a lake marina. "Now we can respond directly to the marina and we can be at most places on the lake within less than 20 minutes," Wherry said.

Not only does the boat help with rescues, it also has a water cannon capable of fighting fires.  

The boat uses a pump that takes water right out of the lake to fight fires on the water or the shoreline.

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