Douglas County approves $171,000 to fix Tahoe fire boat |

Douglas County approves $171,000 to fix Tahoe fire boat

Kurt Hildebrand / The Record-Courier
Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District's Marine 24 in better days before it was swamped in a January 2022 storm.

ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — A $171,000 request to refurbish the former Marine 24 and get it back on Lake Tahoe was approved by Douglas County commissioners on Thursday.

The funding came from $9.5 million in federal relief funds that were allocated but not spent.

Commissioners voted that the remaining $720,000 would be the subject of an open call for projects.

“I’m impressed with the collaborative effort and all the money that’s been donated by multiple sources,” commissioner Sharla Hales said. “There’s a lot of momentum on this project.”

The money has to be allocated by December 2024 and spent by December 2026.

The boat partially sank after it came loose from its mooring and its aft quarter was punctured after 65 mph winds and 6-8-foot waves crashing against the dock.

The real damage, though, was to the engines which were hammered against the pier and will have to be replaced.

The boat spent 16 hours immersed, and the manufacturer assumed all the electrical equipment and wiring was corroded, and if Tahoe was salt water, that would have been the case, according to the Tahoe-Douglas Fire Protection District.

Officials believe a good cleaning would be sufficient to bring most of that equipment back online, which has been conducted with most components functional.

The boat would serve as an auxiliary to the replacement boat expected to arrive this spring that was purchased with proceeds from the insurance money.

Supporters have raised much of the funding required to repair the boat.

“Having served on the sheriff’s boat for 15 years, I can tell you how important it is to have emergency vehicles on that Lake,” Commissioner Wes Rice said. “I’m very much in favor of funding.”

The request was significantly lower than the proposed $611,000 because of a lot of fundraising that occurred around the boat.

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