LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i County Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a request from Kaua‘i Fire Department Chief Robert Westerman to purchase a 19-foot Boston Whaler to be used by the department in search and rescue operations.
“This is way overdue,” said Westerman, explaining the jet boat currently used by the department is too small, unsafe for diving operations, and when used on Wailua River, the engine sucks up debris that jams up the engine.
The new boat will cost $97,419, including tax and shipping, but the federal 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant will fund 75 percent of the costs, leaving the county with a $19,483 balance, according to Westerman.
It will take four or five months for the Boston Whaler to arrive on Kaua‘i, he said.
When KFD receives the new boat, the jet boat will be auctioned off and the proceeds will go to the administration.