Nashville's new "Fire Boat 22" had only been in the city and in the water for two hours when 20-year-old Travoris Nawls went under on Percy Priest Lake.
"The Nashville Fire Department couldn't have gotten there any faster than what we did," said Assistant Chief Mike Franklin.
The boat and crew just happened to be feet away and rushed to join the search.
"It was absolutely the best chance he would have had. We had people on board the boat that could find him. If he was going to be rescued, it would have been at that point," said Franklin.
The need for a fire boat like this, is greater than you might think.
"We have a lot of water in Davidson County," said Franklin.
In fact, Nashville firefighters responded to 80 water distress calls this year alone.
"Earlier this year when the Elm Hill dock caught fire, remember that? Well there's a fine example, just like that, where we needed a fire boat just like this to respond," said Franklin.
The custom-built boat features a deluge gun that can draft water from underneath and shoot up to 1,100 gallons a minute.
"This is what you have to have to fight a real serious fire," said Franklin.
It also has a side scan sonar and a forward looking infrared radar, which will help crews see in the night and through fog.
"It shows you the banks and obstacles in the water," said Franklin.
Officials said one of the best features is the trailer the boat sits on. Up until now, the department hasn't had a boat this big that had the capability of moving to another body of water.
"Anywhere we can launch this, we can take it," said Franklin.
Crews will spend the month training. Then plan to officially launch on September 1.
"The tax payers of the world: federal, local, and state should all feel confident Nashville has purchased, for our safety and theirs, the best piece of equipment we can possibly get," said Franklin.
A 2010 port grant from FEMA paid for the boat, which cost $200,000.
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