The 118-foot (36m) ''Edward M. Cotter'' is the oldest fireboat in the world still on active duty, and is inscribed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark. Launched in 1900, the boat was originally named the ''William Grattan'' after Buffalo's fire commissioner at the time. After it suffered a devastating explosion in 1928 (flying sparks from a burning oil barge entered its fuel tank), it was rebuilt from the burned-out shell of its hull at a cost of nearly $100,000. With a maximum speed of about 15 miles per hour (24 km/h), the ''Cotter'' is currently the slowest piece of firefighting machinery the Buffalo Fire Department owns, but it's indispensable for its ability to reach places on the waterfront inaccessible to ordinary fire trucks, and it has ten times the water-pumping capacity of the average fire truck. Over the years, the ''Cotter'' has seen action such as going across the lake to [[Port Colborne]] in 1960 to help fight a fire at a grain elevator complex; helping keep afloat the '''Buffalo Naval and Military Park''''s ''USS Little Rock'' after it began taking on water in 1978, and towing the Polish ship ''Zawisza Czarny'' off of a sandbar when it came to Buffalo Harbor for a visit in 1983. During the quiet winter months, the ''Cotter'' serves double duty as an icebreaker on the Buffalo River; during the summer, it can frequently be seen at local waterfront festivals and boat shows, where tours are also offered.
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''Edward M. Cotter''
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