Built in 1931, MV John J. Harvey, at 130 ft and 268 net tons, is among the most powerful fireboats ever in service. She has five 600 HP diesel engines, and has capacity to pump 18,000 gallons of water a minute. Her pumps are powerful -- enough so that when she and the George Washington Bridge were both brand new, she shot water over the bridge's roadway. She was retired by the New York City Fire Department in 1994 and bought at auction by her current owners in 1999. She was placed on The National Register of Historic Places
in June 2000.
She served the FDNY from her launch in 1931 to her retirement in 1994. Among the marine fires at which she assisted were the Cunard Line pier fire in 1932, the burning of the Normandie in 1942, and the ammunition ship El Estero during World War II. She was named for marine fireman John J. Harvey, killed when the Thomas Willet exploded during a fire. She retired as Marine 2.
On September 11, 2001, the boat's owners asked FDNY officials for permission to assist in evacuations from Ground Zero. Meanwhile, due to many damaged water mains, fire crews were deprived of water. Officials radioed the Harvey to drop off her passengers as soon as possible and return to the disaster site to pump water, reactivating her official designation Marine 2. Alongside FDNY fireboats Firefighter and John D. McKean, she pumped water at the site for 80 hours, until water mains were restored. The Harvey's story was the subject of a 2002 Maira Kalman book.
Children 9 and under: $10.00
Available Spaces: 60 for each sail