The man who built Ireland’s James Bond-style wave-piercing powerboats has paid a unique tribute to Ireland’s frontline heroes.
Frank Kowalski, of Cork-based Safehaven Marine, opened the throttles on his sleek Thunder Child 2 vessel for several high-speed passes of Cobh last night, as a tricolour flew from the stern thanking those working in the various front-line emergency services - from nurses and doctors, to gardai, firefighters, coast guard and lifeboat crew, and all those working to keep Irish ports open.
He edited a video of the vessel in action, and posted it online today to the sound of David Bowie’s classic, We Could Be Heroes.
“I wanted to do something nice to lift everyone's spirits. The soundtrack says it all,” he said.
Kowalski led a crew on a record-breaking circumnavigation of Ireland in 2017 in just over 34-hours in his sleek €1m Thunder Child 1 interceptor vessel.
He built Thunder Child 2 across 2018 and 2019 in a bid to cross the Atlantic in under four days.
While Thunder Child 1 had a 60ft wave-piercing monohull design, the design of Thunder Child 2 fused the proven wave-piercing monohull with a catamaran hull.
The vessel’s longer hull blends from a monohull at the bow to a catamaran hull midship.
At 75ft-long, the vessel is powered by four 650hp Caterpillar engines and four France Helices SDS surface drives which give her a cruise speed of just over 40kts, a maximum speed of well over 50kts, and a range of 800 nautical miles.
The crew sit in military-spec shock mitigation seats and the boat has state-of-the-art satellite navigation and tracking technology.