15 August, 2011

Neoteric hovercraft rescues scores of canoeists

The U.S. Department of the Interior is crediting a Neoteric hovercraft for 17 different water rescue operations in one week on Wisconsin's St. Croix River that brought 98 people to safety. The hovercraft is owned and operated by the St. Croix Tribal Police ...

The National Park Service said the river had risen six feet from rainstorms and "The combination of high water and debris from last month's windstorm made for difficult navigation." Local media reported that it was "treacherous with many downed trees in the riverways, high water levels, and extremely fast and dangerous currents."

These conditions describe a perfect example of a rescue scenario in which a hovercraft may be the only vehicle capable of saving people's lives. St. Croix Tribal Police Chief Frank Taylor pointed out, "Having the hovercraft is a good resource for us to have and this rescue is a prime example of what can happen when agencies work together."
Rangers prepare for night search operations in the St. Croix Tribal Police
Neoteric hovercraft. National Park Service photo.

Sergeant Warren Tuttle and officer Henry Bearheart are the St. Croix Tribal Police hovercraft operators. On August 5 alone, Tuttle and Bearheart rescued 14 campers and two counselors from YMCA Camp St. Croix when the river's high water and fast current swamped their canoes.
 Warren Tuttle (left) and Henry Bearheart (third from left), St. Croix Tribal Police, receive their Hovercraft Pilot Certification from Neoteric president Chris Fitzgerald (second from left)and Neoteric Law Enforcement Liaison Steve Stafford (right).

Chief Taylor told news media, "I can't say enough about Tuttle and Bearheart, who did an outstanding job of recognizing the dangers of the river, and helped save those campers.”

To read full news coverage of the St. Croix Tribal Police hovercraft water rescues, see:


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