I wanted to take the time to make you and the townspeople of Little Compton aware that our coastal waters have been protected by a new Volunteer Fire Department fire rescue boat this past boating season. As you may have seen in local news reports, this new vessel has been responsible for pulling two men from the waters near South Shore Beach after a catamaran overturned; and this vessel responded to the report when two kayakers were rescued from the Sakonnet River.
For over a year, the Little Compton Volunteer Fire Department (LCVFD) worked in close correlation with Lt. Dave Wood of the Little Compton Fire Department (LCFD) to define the needs of the Town, to locate and retrofit this rescue boat. What we came up with was a Contender that cost almost $70,000 that has replaced our aging Boston Whaler, which will be sold to help defray the cost.
This boat is a 25-foot Contender with twin, 200-horsepower Yamaha motors, dual batteries, dual bilge pumps, radar/GPS and also a second backup GPS. The redundancy in equipment is to ensure that the boat always be fully operational for safety purposes. There is also a 175-gallon fuel tank, United States Coast Guard radio, and public safety radio which allows us to communicate with multiple departments, towns, and other public safety agencies. It also has the latest in LED emergency lighting. These are some of the reasons that this boat has been referred to as the envy of the area.
I specifically want to thank the Little Compton Volunteer Fire Department membership for undertaking this endeavor; Lt. Graham Brewster (LCVFD) for working hand-in-hand with Lt. Wood (LCFD) on securing the boat and its list of needs; Vice President Bruce Shippee for taking time out of his busy schedule to retrieve and transport the boat to its new home in Little Compton; Chief Douglas Crook (LCVFD) for providing storage of the boat on his property; town resident Joe Marion of Marion Welding Inc. for the welding of the superstructure of the boat; Nancy Wood for designing the lettering on the boat and coordinating with the sign company; Susan Harrison of Fall River Sign for lettering the boat; Don Helger of Don’s Marine in Tiverton, for the maintenance and specific modifications and upgrades he made to the boat; and attorney Mike Harrington for handling all the legal aspects and paperwork necessary with getting this boat in the water.
Most of all, I am most grateful and want to thank the townspeople of Little Compton for making all this possible with their generous donations and continued support of the Volunteer Fire Department. If you would like to support the volunteers, 501(c)(3) donations are always gratefully appreciated and can be sent to the Little Compton Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 552, Little Compton, RI 02837.