As of today, 462 homes have been damaged and 65 completely destroyed by the devastating flooding and mudslides that struck southern California Tuesday. Seventeen people have died and five are still missing.
As the Associated Press reports, “Rescuers ‘searching for a miracle’ in California mudslides.” Perhaps that miracle could have been the early deployment of hovercraft.
To quote ABC News coverage of the California disaster, “In 2014, a mudslide in rural Oso in Washington state killed 43 people … Travis Hots, fire chief of Snohomish County Fire District 22, was on the scene in the first hour after that catastrophe. He recalled a sea of mud so thick that crews had trouble slogging through it or so watery it was like quicksand.”
What ABC didn’t mention is the vital role performed in that mudslide by the three Neoteric rescue hovercraft owned by Snohomish County Fire District and Snohomish County Search and Rescue. Their hovercraft enable first responders to access areas other vehicles can't reach ...
Snohomish County said, “Our hovercraft can navigate through floating debris and logs, so we’re able to cross the flooded valley and access the debris field. These Neoteric craft are able to quickly and safely access almost any environment.”
Imagine what might have been accomplished in the California rescue operations if hovercraft had been available … easier, faster rescues. Lives saved. First responders kept above the danger, not in it.
Hovercraft are a necessity in flood, mud and water rescues
As Maritime Reporter and Marine News magazines state: “Small hovercraft have a growing role to play in search and rescue, commercial and military operations around the world. Hovercraft can be a practical proposition for operations in areas inaccessible to other vehicles including frozen water, mud flats, intertidal areas, shallow rivers and flooded inland areas. Perceived to be environmentally sound, as they don’t exhaust into the water, create no wash and do not disturb the sea bed, they are also economical and do not endanger marine animals as there is no propeller in the water.”
Neoteric is the original and most experienced light hovercraft manufacturer, relied upon by
first responders in 50+ nations for more than four decades. And Neoteric’s founder, Chris Fitzgerald, agrees with these magazines. In a recent news article about the role of Neoteric rescue hovercraft in Hurricane Harvey, he says, “The real tragedy is there should be thousands of hovercraft for these rescues. They can do so much more than other vehicles and fill the gap in amphibious transport, as hovercraft can operate in fast-flowing water, in water full of debris or in shallow water, places where boats have a problem … Even when Katrina hit, we had craft operating and in a mud slide in Oregon a few years ago. We are sorry to see these tragedies, but with global warming, we will see a lot more, unfortunately.”
News media: Spread the word about rescue hovercraft – you’ll save lives
The news media could literally save lives if more coverage were devoted to the unequalled value of hovercraft in natural disasters such as these. The fact that so many well-known and influential people were regrettably affected by the California tragedy could help boost this coverage. Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bridges and Rob Lowe are all residents of Montecito, the city ravaged by the mudslides …
Ellen Tweeted: "This is not a river. This is the 101 freeway in my neighborhood right now. Montecito needs your love and support " …
“What is devastating is that we lost so many lives,” Oprah said yesterday on The Ellen Show. “It’s such a tiny, little community and nobody would have expected that after we survived the fires that we would have this devastation with the mudslides so soon.” She described how some of her neighbors’ houses were "just gone" after a 300-foot wide stream of mud ripped through them …
On Instagram, Oprah posted a video of her wading through the mud and debris on her property, saying, “Thanks everyone for your prayers and concern. My property is fine. Some mud , and minor damage that pales in comparison to what my neighbors are going thru. #mudslides" ...
Oprah’s neighbor, Jeff Bridges, Tweeted, “Our home has been severely damaged, but we are safe, and so thankful for that and for the first responders who are working tirelessly to save people. We are heartbroken over the loss of lives in our community. Your prayers and best wishes are most appreciated.”
Rob Lowe Tweeted, “Mourning the dead in our little town tonight. Praying for the survivors and preparing for whatever may come. #Montecito”
@Ellen, @Oprah, @TheJeffBridges, and @RobLowe, we invite you to read more on the Neoteric blog and website to see why first responders in 50+ nations rely on the Neoteric rescue hovercraft to save lives safely … and we hope you’ll share the news.
Maybe this lifesaving news should be featured on The Ellen Show @EllenTV?
And to the news media: why not some good news, for a change?