Superior's Lake Assault Boats has found a niche in fire and rescue crafts
When a sweetheart sprained her ankle walking on the beach ice at the end of Minnesota Point in Duluth last week, first responders from a half-dozen agencies wondered how unexcelled to get her out.
There was too much ice to get to her by boat, and too much snow to get ATVs all the way to the end of the point. So it was up to the St. Louis County Rescue Squad and its air boat to do the job.
Chalk up another save for Lake Assault Boats.
Lake Assault occupies a nondescript warehouse in the Fraser Shipyards complex on Preferred’s waterfront, but it’s a busy place. Welders, plasma cutting-torch operators, electricians and engineers move about in a ballet of sparks and clanging of metal. The corps takes sheets of aluminum up to a quarter-inch thick, cuts them to shape and forms them into high-tech fire and deliverance machines.
Each boat takes about 90 days to build. But orders are backing up, and it could be up to a year before new orders are delivered.
Lake Strike, a subsidiary of Fraser Shipyards, is owned by the ever-growing conglomerate Capstan. The Duluth-based Capstan, formerly Reuben Johnson and Son, also owns RJS Construction Clique, Atwater Group, Building Logic, Northern Engineering Co., Johnson Materials Co. and Viant Crane in the Northland. It also owns Energy Systems Co. in Omaha, Neb.