When it comes to fighting fires, quick response is vital — especially when lives and livelihoods are at stake. Barracuda, a sturdy, rapid firefighting boat and rescue vessel, is perfectly designed for this task. As fast and furious as its namesake, it protects a 16-kilometer (10-mile) stretch of the Demerara River, the gateway to Guyana’s economically vital North Coast and capital, Georgetown.
Firefighting boat and rescue vessel in one
Barracuda was purchased by the Guyana Fire and Rescue Department to safeguard an area bustling with industrial and food import and export activities as well as petroleum product storage.
Designed and built by Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC) in the U.K., the high-performance, 14-meter (46-foot), aluminum-alloy Barracuda is prepared to meet all the risks and hazards of modern-day marine emergencies and firefighting duties. The vessel, which delivers speeds of up to 32 knots, is equipped with three fire monitors. Each is capable of delivering approximately 4,500 liters (1,188 U.S. gallons) of water per minute at a range of up to 120 meters (394 feet). Barracuda is also fitted with two stretchers for medical evacuations.
Chief Fire Officer Marlon Gentle of the Guyana Fire and Rescue Department values the vessel highly. “Barracuda has definitely improved our country’s general and marine firefighting and response capability. It fills a real need for port protection for wharves, warehouses, and more on the waterfront, as well as land-based firefighting operations,” he comments.
Making a splash with heavy duty marine engines
Twin John Deere PowerTech™ 6090SFM85 marine engines, with a power rating of 242 kW (325 hp) at 2100 rpm, supply ample power for the three fire monitors. The engines are M1 duty rated — the heaviest duty available — and can be used at full, wide-open throttle 24 hours a day.
“These heavy-duty engines are essential to deliver the power needed to shoot the water from the three monitors up to a distance of 120 meters (394 feet),” explains Sam Pearson, sales engineer for John Deere marine engine distributor E.P. Barrus Ltd. “In addition, Barracuda carries a full set of firefighting equipment to tackle marine-based emergencies.”
Barrus supplied the complete power packs and carried out successful sea trials with the AMC team. “Barracuda has been an interesting and exciting vessel to work with,” Pearson continues. “Although we have supplied engines for fire pumps before, this was the first U.K.-built vessel we worked on. It was brilliant to be part of the project.”
Barracuda is the first in a new range of high-performance “FiFi” (an abbreviation of “firefighting”) vessels suitable for any marine-based emergencies. The state-of-the-art range offers a diverse array of configurations with both mono hull and catamaran. For firefighting boats, customers can choose options for waterjets, conventional propellers, Voith Linear Jets, and hybrid propulsion.
According to spokespeople at Angloco Limited, which organized the delivery of the vessel to the Guyana Fire and Rescue Department, Barracuda has exceeded expectations and offers amazing performance and design.
And for AMC, headquartered alongside the River Medina in East Cowes on the Isle of Wight, the sale of Barracuda is a great boost for the U.K. marine industry, economy, and emerging export market for firefighting boats and multipurpose vessels.
Barracuda has definitely improved our country’s general and marine firefighting and response capability. It fills a real need for port protection for wharves, warehouses, and more on the waterfront, as well as land-based firefighting operations.