New Rescue Boat in Service!

Posted: Friday, April 20, 2009. A 19’ Boston Whaler powered by a Mercury 225 hp engine has been added to the Leelanau Township Fire and Rescue Department. In the past, a boat had to be borrowed. The boat has an onboard water pump for fires and a side access door to facilitate rescues. The boat will be trailered during its first year of operation while other options are being studied.

Fire Chief Mike Fandel stated that a lot of training is planned for the crew members. Training will include swift water rescue, basic water rescue, ice water rescue, with joint Coast Guard training. A minimum crew of 3 technicians will man the craft: one fire fighter, one EMS technician and one operator. All will have minimum life guard training as well.

Equipment on board will include wet suits, snorkels, fins, tow ropes, a back board, and an AED defibrillator, with a full complement of EMS equipment. Containment buoys and floats to contain spills of gas, oil, or other hazardous liquids are also on board.

Direct all emergency calls to 911 as all area departments have a teamwork mutual agreement for all rescues. Please note that this is not a towing or gas service. Boaters are encouraged to carry cell phones while on the water and tell someone on shore of their destination/direction and their expected time on the water. BoatU.S. Towing offers member services for towing: information can be found online at

Story by: Lake Leelanau Lake Association