John D. McKean (fireboat)

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McKean fireboat jeh.jpg
Flag of the City of New YorkNew York City Fire Department
Name: Marine 1 John D. McKean
Operator: New York City Fire Department
Builder: John H. Mathis
Laid down: 1954
Out of service: 2010
Homeport: Foot Of Bloomfield St., Manhattan
Status: Undergoing restoration

Predecessor: George B. McClellan

Successor: Three Forty Three
General characteristics
Tonnage: 334.75 gross tons
Length: 129 ft (39 m)
Beam: 31 ft (9.4 m)
Height: 47.5 ft (14.5 m)
Draft: 9.5 ft (2.9 m)
Propulsion: Twin 1,000 HP Enterprise direct reversible diesel engines
Speed: 16 mph
Capacity: 19,000 gpm[1]
Crew: 7
Time to activate: 1.5 minutes[2]

John D. McKean is a fireboat that served the New York City Fire Department as Marine Company 1.[3] She is named after John D. Mckean, who died in a 1953 steam explosion while trying to save a predecessor fireboat, the George B. McClellan.[4]

Operational history[edit]

John D. McKean cost $1.4 million.[5] She fought a notable fire at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, in 1991.[5] It was one of the fire boats, along with Fire Fighter and the retired John J. Harvey, that responded to Manhattan during the September 11th attacks to supply firefighters with water after water mains broke following the collapses. The boat helped rescue passengers from US Airways Flight 1549, when she made an emergency landing on the Hudson River in 2009.

Museum vessel[edit]

In 2010, John D. McKean was retired and put in reserve status,[6] after being replaced by a new vessel, the Three Forty Three, named for the FDNY members who lost their lives in the line of duty on September 11, 2001.[7]

On March 2, 2016, FDNY sold the John D. McKean at auction for $57,400.[8][5][9] The vessel was purchased by Edward Taylor and Michael Kaphan, partners in several restaurants. The fireboat was turned over to the Fireboat preservation project which is a non for profit 501(c)., The preservation project plans to turn the boat into a floating museum.

In the summer of 2019 the vessel underwent repairs to her hull that required her to be hauled out of the water.[10]


The vessel was named after a FDNY sailor, an engineer on the fireboat George B. McClellan.[11] He died when he heroically stayed at his post when his vessel was wrecked by an explosion.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jack Lerch (2001). "Apparatus update". Archived from the original on 2016-05-23. Retrieved 2016-10-24. The Fire Fighter is assigned to Marine Company 9 in Staten Island, with the John D. McKean at Marine Company I in Manhattan. The only other active marine company, Marine 6, operates with the Kevin C. Kane, built in 1992.
  2. ^ "Our boats". Marine 1 FDNY. Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  3. ^ "Marine 1 FDNY". Marine 1 FDNY. Archived from the original on 2016-10-08. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  4. ^ "History of Engineer John D. McKean". Marine 1 FDNY. Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  5. ^ a b c Mackenzie Dawson (2016-10-23). "How an FDNY boat that rescued 9/11 survivors lives on". New York Post. Archived from the original on 2016-10-24. He’s spent the past few months refurbishing the John D. McKean to its former glory — painting, working on engines, changing oil lines and fixing broken pipes. Among the volunteers who have pitched in are retired engineers and pilots, and a firefighter from the Tarrytown Fire Department. They come to the docks in Verplanck, where the boat is now docked before its move to Sleepy Hollow, to give advice and aid.
  6. ^ "FDNY Annual Report 2012" (PDF). City of New York. 2012. p. 7. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2016-08-17. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  7. ^ "New York City Fireboats for the FDNY". Archived from the original on 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  8. ^ Nathan Tempey (2016-02-20). "Buy This Sweet Fireboat For Less Than A Month's Rent". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2016-04-04. Retrieved 2016-03-05. According to a plaque on the boat, it was named for Marine Engineer John McKean, who was burned by steam in a 1953 explosion on the George B. McClellan. "Although fatally injured, McKean heroically remained at his post, vainly trying to keep the vessel under control," the plaque reads.
  9. ^ "Auction #1524690 - Boat, Fire, John Mathis 129', QTY:1". Archived from the original on 2016-03-30. Retrieved 2016-02-26.
  10. ^ "Retired FDNY Fireboat, the John D. Mckean, in Service During 9/11 and Miracle on the Hudson Undergoes Restoration". River Journal. 2019-07-31. Retrieved 2019-07-31. The retired fireboat was purchased at auction in 2016 and has been beautifully restored, with one final major project to be completed, the repair of its hull which is urgently needed to ensure the boat stays afloat and can welcome visitors.
  11. ^ Noah Remnick (2016-04-03). "A Workhorse on the Hudson River, Now Retired From Fighting Fires, Chugs Toward a Second Act". New York Times. p. A14. Retrieved 2017-03-20. Even the ship’s name bears the weight of the New York Fire Department’s past: John D. McKean, a marine engineer, was burned to death in 1953 when he stayed at his post on the fireboat George B. McClellan, trying to steady the vessel after a steam explosion. Mr. McKean’s son and grandson both followed him into the department.