D.C. fireboat needs nearly $700K in repairs

(Photo: krossbow via Creative Commons)

WASHINGTON (AP) - A new report says the only rescue boat in the District of Columbia capable of responding to large-scale emergencies needs more than $700,000 in repairs.

The report says the 50-year-old boat, the John H. Glenn Jr., has a broken communications system and its Coast Guard documentation is expired. Inspectors say the boat's radio can't transmit an automated distress call.

The report was obtained by The Washington Examiner. It was commissioned by D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services in May. An earlier city inspector's report found the boat obsolete.

John Donnelly, the fire department's deputy fire chief for homeland security, says the boat's condition doesn't pose an immediate safety hazard. He says the reports indicate the boat can adequately its responsibilities.

He says the agency is gathering funding for repairs.