Investigation Underway after Newburyport Fire Boat Sinks on Dock in Merrimack River

Wednesday June 22, 2022

NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport Fire Department’s Marine Unit vessel sank while docked at Cashman Park sometime overnight on Thursday or early Friday morning.

A pedestrian reported to the Newburyport Police Department that they were walking in the area around 4 a.m. Friday when they noticed the vessel partially submerged and listing severely to port. The Newburyport Police and Fire Departments and Harbormaster responded immediately and secured the area. 

The tide was outgoing at the time, with high tide occurring at 2:09 a.m. in Newburyport. Low tide was just before 9 a.m., and an operation to fully raise the boat and remove it from the water was scheduled for 8:30 a.m.

The vessel, designated Newburyport Marine 1, is a 2007 MetalCraft Marine FireStorm 30 High Speed Aluminum Fireboat. It was acquired in 2020 after serving in the Portsmouth Fire Department.

The cause of the sinking is being investigated by the Newburyport Police Department and Newburyport Harbormaster. The vessel has been active on the Merrimack River over the past week, as it took part in the long-duration search and recovery operation last week and early this week. As recently as Thursday, Marine 1 was taking part in training on the river, and its firefighter operators did not note any malfunctions. Marine 1 is usually docked at Cashman park.

Investigators will also determine if Marine 1 will be suitable to return to service. 

The boat is named Raven II, and it is the second Newburyport fire boat to be named in honor of Newburyport Firefighter Tony Raven, who died after battling a fire on Chapel Street in 2016.

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