M/V Safe/Sea Block Island
The Safe/Sea Block Island was built in 2006 by Almar Boats in Tacoma, Washington. She is nearly identical to the M/V Safe/Sea Newport, but has received several minor enhancements to her installed equipment. Based at Block Island Boat Basin from mid-June through Labor Day, the M/V Safe/Sea Block Island is now Safe/Sea’s primary responder for Block Island Sound, including the waters south of Block Island to 25 nautical miles offshore. Like the other primary responders in the Safe/Sea Fleet, her hull and superstructure are made of welded aluminum and her hull is topped with a 26″ diameter inflation collar.
Twin Yanmar 6LY series turbo-diesels provide 740 horsepower for the Safe/Sea Block Island, enabling her to reach a top speed in excess of 40 knots. Coupled to Hamilton 274 Waterjets through Borg-Warner 1:1 transmissions, these Yanmar powerplants have proven extremely reliable since Safe/Sea adopted them as standard for all new rescue towboats built for us since 1996.
The twin waterjet propulsion system employed aboard the Safe/Sea Block Island grants her maneuverability only dreamt of by conventionally powered vessels. In the hands of an experienced operator, she can spin in her own length, move directly sideways, and even move diagonally without altering her heading. These abilities come in handy when docking disabled vessels in extremely close quarters.
The Safe/Sea Block Island is equipped with a full suite of top-of-the-line communications gear and navigational electronics, Simrad Radar, Simrad GPS chart plotter, ICOM marine VHF radios, Furuno loudhailer, Raytheon autopilot, and digital video recording system. As she is designed to be singlehanded under most conditions, these aids are laid out ergonomically so that her captain has all the information needed to operate the vessel safely in view at all times.
The video below was taken during Safe/Sea's rescue of the S/V Sylph, which broke her mooring in a violent Nor'easter in November 2007. As the video starts, the Sylph has parted the towing bridle that secured her to the Safe/Sea Newport, and the Safe/Sea Block Island is now alongside with Capt. Andy Casey securing a new bridle to her to enable the Safe/Sea Salvor to complete towing the Sylph to safe harbor. Once the connection is made and towing resumes, Capt. Phil LeBlanc comes alongside the Safe/Sea Block Island to retreive Capt. Casey, who is then placed back aboard the Sylph to help steer her behind the towboat for the rest of the voyage.