Using federal grant funds, Oakland police have bought a new boat and are working with Cal Recycling to identify and remove hazardous obstacles in the waters of the Oakland Estuary.
Purchased with funds from a Federal Emergency Management Agency port security grant program, police launched the vessel in September.
Made by Moose Boats of Petaluma, the 37-foot catamaran has a 13¿1/2-foot beam and a shallow draft of 22 inches. Sort of a Porsche of the water, it's powered by twin Cummins 390-horsepower diesel engines, can hit speeds up to 38 knots (about 45 mph), stop on a dime and spin in a circle.
Officer Jim Gordon, who wrote the grant, operates the $600,000 vessel. It also has a forward-looking infrared system camera and monitor that cost $300,000. In September and October, the identified submerged vessels will be removed from the estuary using cranes and barges.
Gordon patrols the estuary three times a week and enjoys being on the water.
"I like being in the open waters and being able to communicate and talk with folks that use this waterway," Gordon said. "I really enjoy the interaction with the boating community."