A rash of tornadoes and thunderstorms battered Texas and Arkansas last Sunday, leaving a path of destruction that caused five deaths and dozens of injuries.
Mansfield, Texas was one of many communities where torrential rains led to widespread flash flooding. Fortunately, the Mansfield Fire Department operates a Neoteric rescue hovercraft, which was used to successfully rescue victims whose vehicles were fully submerged in floodwaters …
Hovercraft are extremely effective in flood rescue operations because they can access areas that boats and other rescue vehicles can't reach. Flat bottom Jon boats and other propeller-driven watercraft are of little use in shallow water or in flood water; debris and obstructions can not only damage rescue boats, but can pose a serious danger to first responders and to those whose lives they are tasked to save.
As Mansfield’s Captain William Franks says about their hovercraft, shown below, “The benefit of having the hovercraft is we do not have to send our personnel into the water to retrieve victims. It can also hover over logs, car tires and any other debris, unlike boats, that could be a hazard in the water. A hovercraft is the answer to a faster rescue – a safer rescue.”
Unlike other vehicles, hovercraft fly on a cushion of air 9 inches above the surface, so they simply glide over swift flowing, debris-filled floodwaters. And, unlike other hovercraft, the Neoteric Hovertrek's patented reverse thrust system gives it the unique capability to brake, back up and hover in place - maneuvers that are critical in flood rescues.
First responders, it's easy to experience for yourself how a Neoteric hovercraft can operate in conditions that prohibit the use of rescue boats - keeping you above the danger, not in it ...