1. #1
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    Question Flood operations?

    Does anyone have any information on the type of boat that is referred to in this Houston Chronicle news article? "...emergency workers spent hours using airboats to rescue as many as 50 residents..." Does anyone have any experience using airboats?

    Nov. 7, 2002
    Rivers and bayous starting to subside
    From staff and wire reports

    The rain-swollen San Jacinto and Trinity rivers appeared to slowly subside today, but only after flooding dozens of homes and roadways in Harris, Montgomery and Walker counties. However, some low-lying areas of Liberty County as well as Victoria and other communities along the bloated Guadalupe River still face flooding through the weekend and might not see relief until next week. ...

    Two subdivisions south of Conroe -- River Plantation and McDade Estates -- were the hardest hit by the flooding, and emergency workers spent hours using airboats to rescue as many as 50 residents from water-logged homes. "Some had as much as 6 feet of water, .......

  2. #2
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    Talking Airboats!!!!

    Sure - Airboats are a shallow-draft boat, (the hull is similar to a wide jonboat)driven by a small motor which drives an airplane-type propeller. This thing can even run on wet grass!! You probably have seen one in a movie or on the news, they are popular in the south, Florida in particular, where they are almost the only way to get around in the Everglades. In Maryland there are a few, and on one occasion, a fire involving a number of autos in an underground parking garage was fought using an airboat to ventilate the structure. Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

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    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

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    Default

    Airboats are good in flat water and SWR boats are good in fast water. However, you gotta have a plan B or C or D for when things get to the unreal stage. Kerrville in 87 we had a bus and van loaded with kids go off into the Guadalupe. Kerrville FD tried using their SWR boats but the water velocity was WAY to high. All of our rescues were made by helicopter. All of our recoveries were made by boat and foot parties.

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    Cool Glad you asked!

    Hey Bug,
    Airboats are used extensively in Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Nebraska on the Platt River, and throughout the Mid-west and Northeast for ice-rescue operations.
    They are gainng in popularity for flood rescue work. Harris County, Texas recently took delivery of 8 additional airboats, bringing their fleet to 12. I am certain that it was those boats that were mention in the article that you referenced in your post.
    Ideally, a good vessel for rescue operations is one that requires no established launch site for deployment, has sufficient carrying capacity to deliver rescue personnel and equipment, with large storage space.
    The vessel should have sufficient horsepower to execute rescue missions in an expediate manner, have a flat bottom (unless used in seas greater than 3-4 feet) and a non-submerged (above water) propulsion system that is not hampered by submerged debris, rocks or shallow water and is stable in torrent water.
    In addition, if you are going to use the boat(s) for flood rescue operations, it should be capable of removing evacuees without subjecting them to the elements and the contaminents contained in flood waters.
    Airboats are capable of doing all of that. It has been reported that airboats have been successfully operated in up to class 4 whitewater. Bare in mind that these are specifically designed airboats built for that application.
    If you are interested in learning more about airboats and rescue operations type: "airboat, rescue, fire department, flooding" into your search engine.

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    Cool Wisconsin rescuers use airboat in search for ice fisherman

    Original URL: http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/dec02/100500.asp

    Milwaukee News Briefs

    Dec. 3, 2002

    Body of missing ice fisherman found

    Chippewa Falls - The body of a man who has been missing since he went ice fishing Friday was found in an Iron County river flowage.
    Mark E. Fort, 48, of Eau Claire was reported overdue from ice fishing on the Turtle Flambeau Flowage, and residents searched for him in the area, but poor ice and weather conditions prevented sheriff's deputies from doing an immediate search.
    Saturday and Sunday, they joined the state Department of Natural Resources and local rescue units on an airboat.
    The team found Fort's body Sunday morning, the Iron County Sheriff's Department said.

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    Cool Rescuers use airboat to reach hunter

    November 26, 2002

    Missing Hunter Found

    A Noblesville man who's been an avid hunter all his adult life found himself the subject of a hunt overnight. He was caught on a cold night without a way out of Lake Monroe and the Hoosier National Forest.
    Chris Soverns had not planned to be out all night. But he got stuck at Lake Monroe and didn't show up to meet his friends, they called authorities. Chris and a friend had gone to the lake on Monday to retrieve his boat. They were supposed to meet at a boat ramp before dark, but that didn't happen.
    Chris was able to free the boat, but he headed toward a different ramp and ran out of gas. He drifted ashore, but far from where he said he'd be meeting his friend.
    Chris made a tent out of his boat. He was stranded for about 12 hours before a state police helicopter spotted him and directed conservation officers to his rescue. "I thought I heard something and got up and looked and the fire was about out. I could see in distance a helicopter hovering."

    Conservation Officers were able to rescue Sovern by using an airboat.

    Chris plans to go back to Hoosier National Forest. But at least for today, he's not leaving his wife's sight.
    The Department of Natural Resources says conservation officers searched about eight hours overnight and called in state police to help when it got dark.
    Chris says he's grateful to all involved in his rescue.

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    Cool Airboats in Maine

    Wednesday, November 20, 2002

    Jefferson eyes new firehouse
    Town out grows current station

    By AARON MILLER, Staff Writer
    Blethen Maine Newspapers
    *
    JEFFERSON, ME — Preliminary plans for a new $600,000 fire station are expected to be in the hands of the town's fire chief this week, a moment Bob Walker has been awaiting since 1999.

    The new station, which will be located on Route 32 across from Jewett's Garage in Jefferson village, will be built to house two engines, a tanker, a first-responder's rescue vehicle and an airboat.

    There are 30 volunteer firefighters in Jefferson and eight first-responders, according to Walker. The department owns three engines, two tankers, a forestry vehicle, a rescue vehicle and an airboat.
    In the next few weeks Walker plans to bring in donated gravel to fill in pockets on the three-acre plot. He hopes to break ground by next spring.

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    Default airboats

    I have had pleasure of conducting evacuations from the swollen Arkansas river in south central Kansas riding in a civilian airboat. This thing had no "little" motor -- it had a V8 chevy!!! This little jewel had a titanium plate on the forward hull. This cat took us across swift water, extreme shallow water, grass, and even short streches of gravel road. Worked wonderfully and we moved several families to safety very quickly.
    *~~~John J. Troyer~~~*
    -Sedgwick County FD Wichita, KS
    Lieutenant - Tech Rescue Station #37B
    -Hutchinson Community College
    Instructor - OSHA, Fire, Rescue
    -Norwich Fire Department
    Volunteer Firefighter

    Stay safe and remember, Gravity never sleeps!

  9. #9
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    Talking Maryland, Too.........

    The Cabin John Park VFD in Montgomery County, Md. is just northwest of Washington DC on the Potomac River, and they do a LOT of river rescue work. Among their fleet is an Airboat, which gets a lot of use year 'round. They have developed some rather unorthodox tricks also, such as the time the airboat was taken to a fire in a parking garage and was secured VERY FIRMLY to the trailer, backed into the entrance and started up. ALL the smoke was gone from the entire building in nothing flat! Also, the Technical Rescue Team of the Prince Georges County FD (on the east side of DC) has a Hovercraft, which is somewhat like an airboat. (Big fan, etc.) Stay Safe....
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
    In memory of
    Chief Earle W. Woods, 1912 - 1997
    Asst. Chief John R. Woods Sr. 1937 - 2006

    IACOJ Budget Analyst

    I Refuse to be a Spectator. If I come to the Game, I'm Playing.

    www.gdvfd18.com

  10. #10
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    Default Airboat used in ice rescue drill

    Editorial comment: A typical ice rescue operation taking 45 - 60 minutes to execute can be reduced to 7 - 12 minutes by using an airboat.

    Mock rescue shows ice hazards

    By Peter Demarco, Globe Correspondent
    12/20/2002

    State Trooper Richard White, wearing a wet suit, bobbed helplessly amid the ice shards of the Charles River yesterday. In a flash, a fan-propelled airboat - blowing a chilly mist in its wake - zoomed in, plucked him from the water, and returned him to shore.
    The training exercise, held under sunny skies with temperatures near 50 degrees, hardly seemed challenging. But officials said that was one of the points they were trying to hammer home: Trained professionals with proper equipment can rescue a victim from the ice far more easily and safely than anyone else. ''If this was a real rescue, it would go this easy. We are trained to do this,'' said Trooper Blake Gilmore of the State Police Underwater Recovery Unit. ''We're reminding people who are not trained not to go on the ice. We're just going to end up with more people in the water that way.''
    This story ran on page B3 of the Boston Globe on 12/20/2002.
    Last edited by H2oAirRsQ; 12-21-2002 at 12:46 AM.

  11. #11
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    Default More fan boat informationt

    State, town urge ice safety

    By David Rogers Friday
    December 20, 2002

    ... Local teen-agers on occasion have "ridden" chunks of ice on the river. One teen, Chief Shute said, fell into the river in the early 1980s, prompting a rescue. Should someone need to be saved, the fire department is staffed with a dive team and has a 76-inch propeller airboat. Strapped to a 350cc automobile engine, the airboat is capable of going over roads, ice, snow and water. ...
    http://www.townonline.com/amesbury/n...ms12202002.htm

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    Default Hunter rescued from marsh as tide rises

    http://www.seacoastonlinecom/news/ex.../news/5003.htm

    Airboat on the spot to rescue hunter from marsh

    By Susan Morse
    SEABROOK, NH - Fighting 30- to 40-mile northeast winds and blinding snow, rescue workers aboard an airboat picked a stranded duck hunter from a flooded marsh Christmas night.

    Lester Leonard, 39, of Woburn, Mass., waited for help on an island of rocks off Route 286 as rising waters pushed through Blackwater Creek and flooded the marsh, according to Tim McClare of NH Fish and Game. Leonard was cold and wet, but not suffering from hypothermia, according to Seabrook Deputy Fire Chief Everett Strangman. He required no medical attention.

    Leonard had walked into the marsh around 11 a.m., McClare said He was hunting alone and carried no flashlight. Leonard was wearing hip waders, a camouflage jacket, at least one other jacket, a hat and hood, said McClare. A Seabrook police officer spotted Leonard and called for help, McClare said. The call came in at 3:50 p.m., said Seabrook Police Chief Paul Cronin.

    Rescue workers from Seabrook police, Seabrook and Hampton fire departments, Fish and Game and the Coast Guard arrived at Route 286 near Brown’s Lobster Pound, trying to find a way to reach Leonard, who was standing an estimated 300 yards away, according to McClare. The Fish and Game boat was too far away in Durham to be of any use; Hampton’s rescue boat was out-matched by weather and wind; and the Coast Guard boat could not maneuver from Hampton Harbor into the marsh, according to McClare.

    he Amesbury, Mass., Fire Department was called to bring in its airboat at 5:06 p.m., according to Amesbury Lt. James Kukene. The boat has a low draft and can glide over water and snow. "We get calls a lot of time, even by the Coast Guard," Kukene said. The boat can go into areas with as little as a half-inch of water.

    Seabrook police illuminated the area with floodlights as Amesbury firefighters David Morse and James Drouin, Seabrook firefighter Paul Kallio and a Seabrook police officer went out to the rock. They were back with Leonard within 23 minutes, Kukene said. "It was quite the thing to be out in the boat, the way the wind was blowing, in white-out conditions," Kukene said.

    No charges have been levied against Leonard, Cronin said. He was abiding by all the laws. "What happens is, you go out here and 90 or 100 times, the tide doesn’t cover the marsh. When you have a storm system, the winds push the water in and hold the water in." "I don’t think he realized the full extent of everything involved because he couldn’t see," McClare said.

    "From his perspective, he was standing on a rock, surrounded by water on all sides, completely pitch black, in driving northeast winds and snow." It was dark and snowing hard when McClare arrived on the scene at 4:30 p.m. Had Leonard tried to pick his way out of the marsh in the dark and blinding snow he would not have been able to tell where the shallow marsh ended and Blackwater Creek began, McClare said. High tide Wednesday at Hampton Harbor was at 2:19 p.m. The approximately 50-by-100 foot rock island on which Leonard was standing is 10 to 12 feet high and was in no danger of being flooded, McClare said.

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    Default Airboats respond to ice rescues on Lake Poygan, WI

    http://www.wisinfo.com/postcrescent/..._7969908.shtml

    Thin ice proving deadly in area
    Three deaths, serious injuries highlight dangers By

    John Lee
    Post-Crescent staff writer

    Jan. 06, 2003
    Oshkosh, WI - A 44-year-old Tustin man died early today at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, about 12 hours after he was pulled from the west end of Lake Poygan. His identity was withheld pending the notification of relatives.At least three other people escaped serious injury when their snowmobiles went through the ice Sunday on two area lakes, authorities said.
    Winnebago County sheriff’s Lt. Mike Jones said the Tustin man did not have a pulse, was not breathing and was suffering from “severe hypothermia,” when he was pulled from the lake by rescuers on the Omro-Rushford Fire Department airboat.
    Jones said the man apparently had been in the water for about 15 minutes, and underwater for about four minutes.“He either hit open water or thin ice. We don’t know for sure,” Jones said.
    Jones said the man was found in five to seven feet of water. After being alerted by neighbors, Norman Lee and his sons, Perry and Colin, used their airboat to reach the man, who was about two miles offshore from Captain’s Cove. "Perry got behind him and I put my arms around him and pulled him up the front of the boat. He had a pulse, but he wasn’t breathing,” said Colin Lee, who is a first responder for the Winneconne-Poygan Fire District.
    The two Lee brothers then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Jones said indications are the man was alone. “We were able to get his pulse back, but we couldn’t get him back to breathing on his own,” said Colin Lee. “We couldn’t get all of the water out of his lungs.”
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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    Default Salcha Rescue responds with airboat above ice jam to access stranded residents, AK

    http://www.adn.com/alaska/story/2425409p-2474725c.html

    OUT OF A JAM

    January 7, 2003

    Fairbanks, Alaska
    CUTLINE: Overflow caused by an ice jam on the Tanana River continued to slosh down the Old Richardson Highway about 35 miles southeast of Fairbanks on Monday, stranding about 30 families in Salcha and filling the roadway with freezing water.

    Temperatures were expected to fall to 40 below Monday night. Such cold could freeze the overflow, allowing highway crews to build an ice road into Salcha by Wednesday, highway officials said.

    Rob Weathers and Dennis Price of Salcha Rescue used Price's airboat, above, Sunday to travel up the Old Richardson Highway and check on stranded residents. Bev Lucas, right, guides her dog MacKenzie off Price's airboat Sunday. Price crossed the flooded Pile Driver Slough to rescue the dog. Lucas and her family were evacuated Saturday but had to leave their dog behind.

    Water began overflowing Piledriver Slough in late December after a warm fall delayed freezeup on the Tanana River, and some areas iced up earlier than others. An ice jam formed, and water began backing up.
    "He who saves a single life, is said to have saved the entire world." TM

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