Firefighters trying to pluck boat from rapids

MONTREAL – If you’re looking out from the shoreline in Verdun and spot something turtled in the Lachine Rapids, that’s a rather expensive Montreal Fire Department boat that capsized on March 25.

The boat, a 3.2-metre Hammerhead model, costing about $200,000, was involved in a nautical rescue practice a week ago when it turned over in the rough water of the rapids.

The four firefighters on board spent some time in the icy water but thanks to their protective gear, none suffered hypothermia.

Because of the tricky placement of the boat, efforts to extricate it Thursday were fruitless. Presumably they’ll try again Friday to right the boat and tow it to the marina for repairs.

Gilles Ducharme, a chief of operations with the fire department, said that an investigation is under way to determine whether human or mechanical error is at fault for the accident.

This boat is one of eight watercraft various fire stations along the waterfront use for nautical rescue, six of those being Hammerheads. Ducharme said in 2009 there were 152 nautical rescues carried out by the fire department.