Nueces County Record Star
May 15, 2017By Mark Wilson
A husband and his pregnant wife who became lost and exhausted while on a tubing excursion late Sunday afternoon on the Brazos River were rescued by members of the Somervell County Fire Department — with a little help from technology — according to Fire Chief Mark Crawford.
Chief Crawford says their Neoteric hovercraft “is very useful for our river rescues when the water moves from too shallow to deep. It hovers 9 inches above the surface so swift water and hidden obstacles don’t affect it. The advantage of the hovercraft is that it can hover in fast, rough water and operate on land, shallow and deep water. We have around 50 miles of river in our county.”
“Dispatch should be credited for pinging the cell phone and sending us right to them,” Crawford said after the incident, which occurred on the river north of the iron bridge that is on U.S. Highway 67.
Crawford said the couple became exhausted “from fighting the river current.”
The SCFD’s hovercraft was sent, and was able to pick up the two, who were visiting Somervell County.
“They were found approximately two miles off course and were delivered to the waiting ambulance for evaluation,” Crawford noted.
The man told first responders that his wife had become “panicky,” but neither needed to be transported for medical treatment, according to Crawford.
The SCFD also had used its hovercraft to search for a man and his son who were reportedly stranded on the river in a canoe or kayak, but they were able to reach shore on their own.
The rescue was just one part of a busy and successful Sunday for local first responders.