We built Fire Hose® Work Pants to handle the toughest jobs and were amazed back in 2011 when we learned that diver Tony T. used our pants as chafing gear over his wet suit for marine construction. Fire Hose material has a heritage of heroism, since its flexible yet tough 2×2 weave was once used to wrap rubber fire hoses. Leave it to “Tony the Diver” to come up with a whole new kind of rescue for this fabric to be involved in.
This whale of a tale starts, fittingly, with a whale-watching ship off the Boston coast. The 83-foot catamaran was supposed to be on a pleasurable three-hour tour. Instead, the crew and 160 passengers were trapped in an overnight ordeal when the ship’s propeller got tangled in a natural gas buoy line. Multiple attempts to cut the boat free met with no success. Seas were too choppy to transfer passengers to a rescue boat, leaving them stranded as darkness fell. Then came the call for Tony and his topside crew to join the effort.
After a harrowing night of diving 95 feet in pitch black waters, at 5 a.m. the boat was finally free. “My team and I had worked on installing the original cable,” explained Tony, who was familiar with the mechanics of the 7″ Kevlar® buoy line and the deep water natural gas port.
First they worked to create play in the line. The propeller had partially severed the line and Tony sliced through the rest with 3″ Victorinox serrated knives, dubbed “little Vickies.” He took three knives down at a time and cut with each one for a half hour until it became dull — a job that took a dozen knives and many hours.
Check Out Tony’s Fire Hose Work Pants Hacks
Tony relies on his trusty pair of Fire Hose Work Pants to protect his diving suit from cuts and tears while he works. “Dive suits are good for what they do, but the added abrasion protection of Fire Hose makes the dive suits last longer,” he says.
“I like the heavy duty canvas of the pants – it’s really tough,” he continues. “They’re comfortable to move around in, and they’ve got all the pockets I need for my tools.” Depending on the day’s work, these could be anything from knives, hammers and other hand tools, to an ultrathermic torch for cutting steel. The pockets also come in handy for storing the nuts, washers and bolts he might need to keep handy.
Since Tony is known for his resourcefulness, we took a closer look at a few of his Fire Hose Work Pants hacks. Here are our favorite ways he’s adapted them: