Jeff's Marine unveils rescue boat

By Beth A. Birmingham | Oct 06, 2016
Photo by: Beth A. Birmingham Posing with the new Friendship Fire and Rescue vessel at Jeff's Marine in Thomaston are, from left: Derrick Bustard, Steve Richardson, Darrin Richardson, Chief Kevin Benner, firefighter Bob Lary, Steve Wilcox, Jen Chapman, Nancy Armstrong,  Larry Wilcox, John Wilcox, Brian Henningsen and James Fales.

Thomaston — Jeff's Marine Inc. unveiled a 27-foot Carolina Skiff it has manufactured for the Friendship Fire Department.

The project was made possible through the donation of $40,000 by the Friendship Ambulance Foundation, private donors and various fish-fry fundraisers. Modern Woodsmen also made a donation of $2,500, which was matched by the Firemen's Association.

"Jeff's Marine has done a great job outfitting it," Friendship Fire Chief Kevin Benner said Oct. 5. Nancy Armstrong, owner of Jeff's Marine, also noted Alex Martins of Blue Water Fabrications in Warren did a lot of work on the boat as well.

The vessel, to be used as a fire and rescue boat for Muscongus Bay and surrounding islands, is equipped with a Yamaha 150 hp, Yamaha 9.9 hp, VHF/hailer, chart plotter, sounder, and radar. Other equipment, such as searchlights and portable pumps, will be added later by the fire department.

Benner said this type of boat was chosen because it had the most room to fit as many firefighters and their equipment as possible. "It is the best fit for the application," he said.

At zero cost to the taxpayers, Benner said "This will be a very good asset for the town for a very long time," explaining the area has been relying on lobstermen and their boats for access to island incidents when needed up to this point.

Benner said the island population is getting pretty big in the summer and if everyone is out lobstering there has got to be a way to get to them.

"Hopefully we won't have to use it," Benner added.

Benner said fundraising started last fall, and he thought it would take three or four years to raise enough funds.

The boat will be launched next spring.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at

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