By Tom Liddy
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN - The FDNY's brand new $27 million fireboat, the 343, was damaged during a storm last winter when another fireboat sideswiped it, according to a published report.
The smashup is the subject of a federal lawsuit filed in Brooklyn charging that the collision occurred because the other vessel, the Fire Fighter II, was taken out in a severe storm on Jan. 21 against the advice of the pilot, the Daily News said.
According to the report, the Fire Fighter II lost control in rough currents and crashed into the 343, which was docked at the FDNY's Marine Unit in Manhattan.
The hi-tech boat, named after the 343 firefighters who died on 9/11, was scratched up and lost paint on its hull, the paper said.
The Fire Fighter II had about 30 feet of gunwale and handrail lopped off its decks according to the report.
The firefighter who filed the whistleblower suit, Frederick Domini, said that the accident was the result of the FDNY not following maritime safety procedures, the News said.
"The FDNY has a culture, custom, practice and usage of ignoring safety concerns of licensed mariners," Domini charged in the complaint, according to the paper.
Domini was disciplined for refusing to participate in training exercises with the 343, the News said.
He wants the boat grounded until it's determined that proper safety procedures are being followed, according to the paper.
The FDNY did not immediately respond to an email for comment.
Domini's lawyer Peter Gleason did not immediately respond to a call for comment.