New Water Boat to Help in Search and Rescue

Curt Casper

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Tri-County UASI and the Waterloo Rural FireDistrict paid for the Airboat. It will used on the Elkhorn, Platte and MissouriRivers.