Edward M. Cotter Fireboat to be repaired next year

First set of repairs since 1950's using $500,000 in state money

Mike Baggerman
December 17, 2018 - 1:01 pm

Edward M. Cotter Fireboat. December 17, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – The Edward M. Cotter Fireboat will receive $500,000 in state funds from New York for repairs.

The boat, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, is still active and is primarily used to break ice in the Buffalo River during the winter months and prevent ice jams.

“It’s been working for 118 years and during that time, it’s played a critical role in Buffalo and Buffalo’s waterfront safe,” Assemblyman Sean Ryan said.

The boat, which was built in 1900 and rebuilt in 1930 after a fire,  is also used to fight fires and was even used recently to help the USS Little Rock after it took in water at the museum by Canalside.

The cotter was last rebuilt in 1953. The funds will specifically be used to repair its hull and other repairs.

“It’s going to be the first time it’s been a dry dock in quite some time,” John Sixt, Captain of the fireboat, said. “We were in desperate needs of hull repairs, a little inspection to make sure she’s still viable, rivet work to repair some leaks. We also have two props, the shaft and rudder that need to be repaired.”

Sixt said he’s hopeful that repairs will begin in the spring and take about 4-6 weeks to complete. The fireboat Cotter will be active this winter.

The repairs will be done outside of Western New York.

It became a national historic landmark in 1986.

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