N.J. city purchases boat to detect bioweapons

The Bayonne Fire Department in Bayonne, New Jersey, recently used federal money to purchase a boat that can help first responders to detect biological and chemical weapons.

The Bayonne City Council authorized the use of a $228,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to purchase a 27 foot long vessel from Safe Boats International of Bremerton, Washington, according to HudsonReporter.com.

Bayonne is part of what the FBI calls the most dangerous two miles in America. It is home to a large number of chemical and fuel storage facilities and was recently named as the potential target of an alleged terrorist suspect.

“The 27 foot rescue boat will serve to replace our aging 17-foot Boston whaler, which is now over 35 years old,” Fire Chief Greg Rogers said, HudsonReporter.com reports. “The new boat will be a much more reliable vessel, and will serve as a stable platform in rough waters for rescue purposes.

“It will also be equipped with advanced high-tech navigation electronics, depth finder, a weather station, GPS, and thermal imaging. It will also be equipped to handle monitoring of chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, and be equipped with a 300 GPM pump that will be used for fire suppression.”

City taxpayers will be expected to spend approximately $84,000 for the equipment. In addition, the fire department sought grant money from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Rogers said the boat is a significant upgrade and will be somewhat similar to vessels used by the U.S. Coast Guard, only smaller.