Watercraft helps firefighters make quicker rescues on Lake Belton

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BELTON, Texas (KWTX) The Morgan's Point Resort Fire Department is using a state-of-the-art vessel to help rescue boats in distress at Belton Lake.

Anytime a boat on Lake Belton finds itself in trouble, the Morgan's Point Fire Resort Fire Department sends out Marine 61.

"The majority of our calls are for boats that are broken on the lake or run out of gas," said David Hall, Captain of Marine Operations

Marine 61 is a custom built boat by the department.

"It's an awesome machine, compared to the early boats we had, " said Hall.

It's equipped with radar, mapping systems, side view imaging, and night vision.

The water vessel makes it easy for first responders to detect items at the bottom of the lake or navigating during foggy nights.

"It's sped up our times probably by 10-15 minutes to get to calls, " said Hall.

The department spent about a year tailoring the boat after purchasing it from the U.S Coast Guard.

"It had nothing, everything was stripped down," said Hall.

Today, the 29-foot Defender-class boat comes with cutting-edge technology and powerful fire pumps.

In a matter of minutes, it can push out hundreds of gallons of water to fight fires on or off the lake.

"We can do 2-3 things on this platform. Before we had two boats to the same," Lt. Corey Adams said.

It's a valuable watercraft the department is proud to have in its fleet.

"It's tremendous," Hall said.

Last year, Marine 61 responded to over 100 calls.

The City of Morgan's Point Resort Marina is staffed by volunteers.