September 10, 2006
Rescue Boat Fatality – A Lesson For All
An injured woman was killed a few weeks ago when the rescue boat, a flat bottom airboat operated by a local New Hampshire fire department, sank. Firefighters loaded the woman, who had fallen and hit her head on a dock, into a litter and then strapped it to the boat. The boat, which was being operated at a relatively high speed, began taking on water, capsized and quickly sank.
This is a reminder to all of us that we should never allow the “excitement” of a situation come between caution and good judgment. A litter, stretcher or backboard should never be strapped to a boat with a victim attached. If conditions require that these be strapped down, then the operator of the boat should reduce their speed so that the victim is not thrashed about the boat.
According to experts, airboats are highly susceptible to swamping and then quickly sinking. Airboats are great for conditions where there is little water (shallow swamps and flooded neighborhoods after storms), but in locales where rough water can be found, such as lakes, larger rivers, and the ocean, an airboat is inadequate and dangerous.
RIBs are popular among rescue professionals because of their great stability, unbelievable buoyancy, and excellent ability to handle rough waters. Had this New Hampshire fire department been using a RIB, they most likely wouldn’t have found themselves taking on water and if they had a RIB in most cases will safely function after swamping.
But because anything can happen on the water, it is essential that departments using rescue craft be adequately trained by professionals. The companies below offer great training for rescue professionals:
Posted by ribcraftusa at September 10, 2006 01:58 PMBack To Index