Kewatec Aluboat

Case: Kewatec Work 1560 ORV


Pori, Finland
Martti Vaahtoranta, 7.1.2020

Rescue department in the serve of environmental protection

Fire chief Markku Rintala’s phone is ringing. We’re just getting up from the Kewatec conference room table in Kokkola. There is an ongoing discussion about the big acquisition of the Satakunta Rescue Department, and it is time to go for a lunch.

The look of Rintala shows that he is not getting any happy news. On our way to the restaurant he tells us that local plant in Harjavalta has just leaked a large amount of light gas oil to Kokemäki river. There is a difficult task ahead. This is also the responsibility of Satakunta Rescue Department.

The fire department doesn’t just extinguish fire. It also has many other tasks. They are usually associated by protecting and saving people and property – and nature.

Sea as an operating environment

Markku Rintala is based in Meri-Pori’s new fire station in Kaana, Pori. He is responsible for administrative tasks, personnel management, training planning, financial management, and giving statements, but also fire control and participation in emergency services. He is also responsible for oil spill response at Meri-Pori.

Kaanaa is far from the center, but close to the shore. The sea has pushed there over the centuries. On the shore there is the Pori’s port of Mäntyluoto, and there is a port and industry also in the archipelago, which has been connected to the mainland by road only in recent decades.

These islands can now be reached by car along the road and across the bridge. At the foot of the bridge, modestly on the land side, shores of Hilskansaari, there is a boat shore of the Meri-Pori fire station. At its entrance, protected from wind and rain, is an acquisition that was negotiated in Kokkola and introduced in the autumn of 2018: the class F oil spill response vessel “Anne-Marie” (Kewatec Work 1560 ORV). (In addition, the equipment of the Satakunta Rescue Department includes one class F vessel, one class E vessel, three class D vessels and four class B vessels. However, not all of them are stationed at the Meri-Pori fire station.)

Versatile equipment for archipelago and offshore use

“Anne-Marie” has been made in accordance with Trafi’s regulations and the Procurement guideline for oil recovery boats by Finnish Environment Institute so that it can operate on the open sea near the coast. It also must endure in thin ice.

So “Anne-Marie” can take the sea without the protection from the archipelago. Thus, the stormy winds did not stop the journey when the boat was piloted in late summer from Kokkola to Pori. It behaved well in the ocean.

It is not the boat for Kokemäki river and Harjavalta in the inland though, the oil spill there must be fought by other means.

However, in the ports of Pori, in the archipelago and on the large open shores, the responsibility of the crew of ‘Anne-Marie’ includes everything that can be done to ensure that the accident at the oil or chemical port does not harm people or nature. Nothing should not extend to an environmental disaster in a region known for its long sandy beaches and plenty of migratory birds.

For example, oil recovery equipment must be ready to isolate boats with booms if needed. The boat must also be able to collect oil from the water both at sea and near the shore.

Of course, “Anne-Marie” must also be able to extinguish fires. The fire brigade is a fire brigade also in the sea. There are cottages and terrain in the islands that can burn, and in those cases, you must get to the shore with a boat, and if necessary, move equipment to the island or use the boats own fire pump. Boat fires in the open water must also be able to extinguish or at least evacuate people in distress.

The medical service is also part of the emergency services, and the water between crew and patience can’t be an obstacle for the help. Pure sea rescue tasks can also come.

Also, when operating in an area where fuels and chemicals are handled, the firefighting equipment must be able to protect the crew from toxic gases. The wheelhouse must be pressurized and there must be compressed air breathing apparatus on board. The emergency shower on the deck is part of the necessary equipment.

In addition, the Meri-Pori fire station needs a boat suitable for training purposes. The fire brigade is training to prepare for situations that it never wants to face. If something still happens, the exercises become a reality that remains under control. At that point, the long training sessions every summer show their necessity.



A pleasant procurement process with lots of good experiences gained

“Anne-Marie” was acquired as a result of a normal tendering process. The contest was won by Oy Kewatec AluBoat Ab. Kewatec had plenty of experience in designing and building oil spill boats. The price was also right.

The biggest responsibility for covering the cost of purchasing the boat was allowed by the Finnish Oil Pollution Compensation Fund, which is grown by oil protection and oil waste payments from commercial oil transporters and from the state budget.

With the new acquisition, the experience of building oil spill boats has gathered for both the customer and the builder. The process was pleasant for both sides. Markku Rintala says:

“The cooperation went smoothly. It was easy and straightforward to work with those involved in the project. Planning meetings were well done. The project was interesting. We got a lot of information about the process of building such boats.”

The Satakunta Rescue Service is trying to keep the quantity and quality of its fleet at least at the level it has now. “Anne-Marie” has significantly improved the oil spill response and rescue capability of the Meri-Pori fire station.