Chief: Not all safeguards in place during rescue boat crash - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Chief: Not all safeguards in place during rescue boat crash

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In the wake of the April 13th accident involving the City of Charleston's fire boat, fire officials announced during a press conference Monday that not all safeguards were in place during the rescue boat crash.

Back in April, the City of Charleston fire boat crashed into a buoy as it was responding to a May Day call from a Naval boat that also crashed that night.

While the Charleston Fire Chief said the pilot was up to date on the training, she said some of the safeguards, including dewatering equipment were not on board.

"We try to put safeguards in place and it turns out that we did not have potentially all the safeguards in place that we should have," Chief Karen Brack said.

News 2 asked why the boat would be put into the water without proper equipment, and the answer from the Chief came down to money.

"Part of that grant is still out, and we are trying to obtain additional equipment with the grant," she said. "It's a piece of equipment that is still out there and hopefully will have soon."

The grant Brack is referring to is the money that went into funding the $850,000 dollar rescue boat that is now docked in Charleston with gashes around the bow of the boat. Marine 101 as it is officially known as was in service for less than a year and was involved in two water rescues. It is named the Louis Behrens fireboat in honor of the long-serving fire Chief.

There are questions still remaining about what other pieces of equipment were missing on the boat, but the Chief and Coast Guard officials tell News 2 they cannot comment more on the investigation since it is still on going. What they were able to say is that the training program will likely be changing.

"We've been discussing how to improve the process and put forth certifications and qualifications for anybody that is on a response vehicle in the harbor or anybody in the Charleston region that's on a response vehicle," Brack said.

The training program would include all departments around the Charleston area, including the Cities of Charleston and North Charleston as well as the County of Charleston. It will feature assessment teams who not only train the crews on safety measures, but also assess them throughout the year. Brack said she wants the new training model to set a national standard for water safety.

There is no word Tuesday night when the boat will be back in the water or how much money it will cost to repair it. Coast Guard officials tell News 2 it will take up to six months to complete the investigation.

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