24 February, 2011

Hovercraft critical in mud & ice rescue operations

Last weekend, on two separate continents, on two vastly different types of terrain, two rescue agencies exhibited how Neoteric hovercraft can be critical equipment for first responders.

First, in Sweden, at least 10 people fell through the ice last weekend on V├Ąttern, Sweden’s second-largest lake, but no serious injuries were incurred, thanks to the Swedish Sea Rescue Society’s two Neoteric HoverTrek Rescue hovercraft … 

Where other rescue vehicles can only be launched on solid ice 5+ inches thick, hovercraft operate safely on thin or broken ice, making them a vital asset in ice rescue operations.

At the same time, nearly 4,000 miles away, another Neoteric hovercraft was used to rescue six people from a pontoon boat stranded in mud on a New Jersey USA waterway. The boat's owners were taking it out for the first time when it got stuck on a mudflat. Strong winds had blown the tide out to 2 feet below normal low tide and the boat got caught in about 30 feet of mud.

Winds prevented the use of a helicopter in this situation and boats, of course, will not work in mud rescue operations. The Neoteric HoverTrek operated by the Scullville Volunteer Fire Company was the only vehicle able to reach the New Jersey victims …

The HoverTrek is easily launched in minutes on any ice, mud or water conditions, and operates 9 inches above the surface. Not only does this improve response time, it keeps rescuers safely above the danger and allows access to areas that can’t be reached by boat, snowmobile, or even helicopter. Also, hovercraft are less expensive and less dangerous to operate than are helicopters.

With its unique ability to brake, back up and hover in place - crucial in rescue operations - it’s reassuring to know the Neoteric HoverTrek is increasingly employed by rescue agencies across the globe.

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