Rescue/SCUBA Unit Boats
There are various small boats and inflatables available in today's market. I imagine that 16-18 ft. rigid bottom inflatables are popular with dive/water rescue teams.
What size and and type of boat does your department use for their SCUBA or water rescue unit....AND, what are the pros and cons of that particular boat?
Also, how many divers does your department maintain?
Our department uses a 4 meter Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boat for surf rescue and a 25' Boston Whaler (Challenger hull)for offshore operations. Our team consists of 72 divers with a range of certifications from Open Water to Dive Rescue 1 Trainer and Public Safety Scuba Instructor.
The 4 meter RHIB has surved our purposes well and we keep it on a trailer and leave it inflated full time. We use a 30 HP Johnson RescuePro engine (has an axial flow pump which is neither jet drive nor prop). I wish we had 40 HP but that engine size was not available in the RescuePro series. We operate the RHIB with a coxswain and one crewman so that we can stay light and fast when working in breaking surf.
If you need additional information, feel free to contact me "off list."
Blades Robinson, LT
Indian River County (FL) Fire Rescue
Well we all wish we could be as lucky as Blades dept. We are a small rural dept with 4 divers. All are Dive Rescue International trained. We use a 27' pontoon boat with an 80hp outboard. This boat was obtained from the county sherrifs dept in a drug raid. We remover some seating and opened up the front to let the tender work off of the front. we also have a safety diver, piolit and statitician on board. In that groop we make sure at least one is an EMT.
The Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Dept., Miami, Florida maintains over 650 certified rescue SCUBA divers, approximately 354 rescue skin divers and 125 air-deployable rescue divers.
We also maintain six 16-foot rigid hull inflatables (RHIBS) powered by 110 HP Honda 4 stroke engines, one 16-foot rescue Nautica RHIB, two PWCs, one 28-foot Whitewater, powered by twin 220 Yamaha's and one 16-foot aluminum hull airboat powered by a 500 HP Chevy Marine 502.
The Miami-Dade County Fire Rescue Dept. equips every piece of operations fire apparatus (greater than 110) with two complete sets of rescue SCUBA equipment.
In addition, we operate three helicopters that perform patient transport, search and rescue, diver deployment and firefighting.
Got any good used equiptment just sitting around that might be of some help to a small rural dept thats strugling to keep up. We are the only dive team in south-east Ohio and it can get busy sometimes, especially with 4 divers and 3 of them are shiftworkers. We are looking to outfit upto 4 more divers sometime in the future. later.
You should try DRMS in Columbus for a boat. We have purchased two boats through them that were excess government property. A 22' Boston Whaler and a 17' RHI that we rebuilt for our Dive Team. The Whaler is great for Lake Erie and the RHI is used in the shallower water in Sandusky Bay.
What type of water are you operating in? Just here in northern IL I know of departments who operate; inflatables, rigid hull, air boat, hovercraft and even waverunners. The larger rigid hull boats are nice for deploying divers. To our west South Elgin has just purchased a nice square nosed about 16'. It has a ladder that comes over the bow to make it easy to get on and off.
We have a 12' inflatable, it is light so we can launch it about anywhere. Keeping it inflated as the temp changes is a bit of a pain. It has a lot of points to tie off lines, which is nice. In a low head dam scenario it can fill with water and not sink and the tie off points keep the boat under control and the crew relativly safe.
I've seen crews, on video, get into trouble at dams with rigid boats.
Hovercraft and air boats need a lot of practice to stay good at operating.
We have 14 or 15 active members of our dive team.