updated 3/21/2007 2:18:41 PM ET 2007-03-21T18:18:41

The city’s $385,000, state-of-the-art fire boat sank Wednesday, still tied up at a dock and without ever being put to use.

The boat, moored at a marina by the James River Bridge, was discovered with its stern sitting on the river bottom and the bow sticking up out of the water. Investigators had not yet determined the cause of the sinking.

The fire department had not even taken ownership of the 33-foot boat because it was waiting for the manufacturer, MetalCraft Marine of Canada, to finish installing electronic equipment, department spokeswoman Dana Perry said.

Perry said the department has two other boats that can be used to fight fires on the water, but they don’t have the capabilities or technology of the new vessel.

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