Petaluma, Calif.-based Moose Boats has been awarded a contract from the New Bedford [Mass.] Fire Department to build an M2-38 chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives (CBRNE) aluminum catamaran emergency response and recovery vessel.

The new boat will be equipped with a fire pump, dual monitors, discharges fore and aft for hand lines and supply to land-based apparatus, multi-threat detection equipment and SCBA distribution throughout the vessel.

Main propulsion will come from twin Cummins 425-hp turbo diesel engines connected to Hamilton waterjets.

The M2-38 will be capable of pumping water at a flow rate exceeding 1,500 gpm while maintaining full maneuverability from both propulsion engines and jets.

“The M2-38 will be used as the primary firefighting/search and rescue platform for the Port of New Bedford, the second busiest commercial port in the state of Massachusetts,” Michael Gomes, chief, New Bedford Fire Department, said in a statement announcing the contract. “Located on Buzzards Bay and the approaches to the Cape Cod Canal, the Port of New Bedford has deep-water access and is protected by a hurricane barrier and is considered to be the safest port on the East Coast. It is home to over 400 commercial fishing vessels and has been the nation’s number one dollar producing fishing port for 11 straight years.”

The navigation and electronics suite will be comprised of multifunction navigation screens, radar, side scan sonar, AIS, VHF radios, communications headsets, thermal imaging and radiation detection equipment.

A heavy-duty push knee will enable the M2-38 to come in contact with larger vessels and piers while the custom bow ladder will allow firefighters to disembark in beach landing scenarios.

The vessel is being funded through a combination of a Port Security Grant and local matching funds. The CBRNE capable vessel will provide additional capabilities to the port and the region, said Gomes.

In 2010 the Port of New Bedford experienced a CBRNE incident when a number of World War I sulfur mustard rounds were dredged up by a fishing vessel and one of the rounds ruptured. The incident resulted in two casualties and required 15 days and multiple agencies to bring to a successful conclusion, said Gomes.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.