First of two new-generation emergency response vessels delivered to Hong Kong Fire Services

Incat Crowther has partnered with Guangzhou-based AFAI Southern Shipyard to design and deliver the first of two new, state-of-the-art next-generation emergency response vessels for the Hong Kong Fire Services Department.

First of two new-generation emergency response vessels delivered to Hong Kong Fire Services

The two new vessels will replace the Hong Kong Fire Services Department’s ageing fleet of emergency response vessels and will be stationed at Hong Kong International Airport for fast deployment across Hong Kong’s busy waterways. The new vessels are tailored specifically for search and rescue, fire response and other emergency response operations including responding to emergency on-water aircraft landings.

Capable of travelling at speeds of up to 41 knots, the vessels boast a low draft and are designed for missions in both deep sea environments as well as hard to reach coastal locations. Highly robust to guarantee a long operational life, manoeuvrability is bolstered by the inclusion of four Hamilton HTX52 waterjets.

The vessels have been designed to accommodate up to 300 people including patients and people rescued from emergency situations. Each vessel features a large treatment room on the main deck and is fitted with the latest, state-of-the-art emergency response technology. This includes a unique Palfinger hydraulic automatic fast rescue slipway system. Integrated into the design of the vessel’s hull, the system allows for the rapid deployment of a rescue boat. A diving platform, as well as port and starboard rescue platforms further enhance the vessel’s operational capabilities.

In addition, the vessels feature two rescue jet skis, port and starboard knuckle boom cranes, two dual fire monitors with foam fighting capability, telescopic flood lights for nighttime operations, and a helicopter winching platform on the upper deck. The Command Centre is located on the upper deck, adjacent to a large crew space which features a mess, pantry, storage lockers and bathroom. Meanwhile, the vessels’ main deck features large equipment storage areas and four bathrooms.

Incat Crowther Technical Director Dr Andrew Tuite said these vessels are highly advanced, operationally flexible and robust vessels.

“Not only can these vessels perform on-water search and rescue missions, but they can also respond to fire and aircraft emergencies, assist with underwater search and rescue missions and act as a floating hospital and treatment centre during emergencies. It was pleasing to see the first vessel in this fleet exceed expectations during sea trials, giving the operator confidence that these vessels will play an important role in keeping the waterways of Hong Kong safe,” said Dr Tuite.

“It was crucial that our project team, including our partners at AFAI Southern Shipyard, delivered on the brief to design a vessel that offers operational flexibility while being fitted with the technology required to effectively respond to a broad range of rescue situations,” said Dr Tuite.

The second vessel in the fleet is now under construction in Guangzhou, with both vessels expected to be in service by 2025.