New Water Boat to Help in Search and Rescue - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

New Water Boat to Help in Search and Rescue

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Curt Casper

OMAHA (KPTM) – The Waterloo Fire Department says they do a water rescue every weekend when the weather is nice and while the weather on Thursday isn't ideal for swimming, it is a good training day for its new water boat. The goal – help save lives on the water.

After massive flooding in 2010 and 2011 the Waterloo Fire District needed a faster way to make rescues. The Rescue Airboat will be used along the Elkhorn River and others starting this summer.

The fire department tells Fox 42 News this river is usually packed with 500-600 tubers on a given weekend. In 2012, it had 42 water rescue calls.

Waterloo Fire Chief Travis Harlow said, " Typically people are out drinking and having a great time and there will be rescues that we have to perform."

At times the boat can go up to 40 mph and it can travel almost anywhere, including duck blinds.

Brian Cain of Midwest Rescue Airboats said, "Get to it to save lives, if it is a shallow area this boat can get to it."

The Tri-County UASI and the Waterloo Rural Fire District paid for the Airboat. It will used on the Elkhorn, Platte and Missouri Rivers. 

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