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New boat will help with area water rescues   ADVERTISEMENT

New boat will help with area water rescues

WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen Fire Department expanded their rescue capabilities. The department recently bought a 2004 Sonic Jet Boat for water rescue operations, including swift water rescues.
Fire Chief Judson Smith said they raised $25,000 to purchase the vessel during the course of three to four years. He added no tax dollars were put toward the boat and it was purchased exclusively through fundraising dollars. The fire chief said the boat was purchased second-hand, and they expect to get another 10 years out it with proper upkeep.
“[The boat] is built for rescue and firefighting,” Smith said. “It can hold up to 10 people and will be occupied by one operator and two rescuers. It is a jet driven boat, which means it is propless and can operate on open or swift water.”
Smith said the boat was built for shoreline operation and can run in 10 inches of water. The vessel can be beached if needed, and it carries an assortment of water rescue equipment onboard. Smith said it also came with a water pump that can produce up to 750 gallons per minute, which can be used to combat fires from the boat. And because it’s a jet boat without a conventional outboard motor, the operators won’t need to worry about any propeller related injuries while extracting someone from the water.
Smith said purchasing this boat was the first real expansion of the department’s technical team in many years. The boat now allows them to participate in rescue operations they were unable to in the past and allows the department to expand its service on Seneca Lake. Smith expressed thanks to all the community members who’ve helped support the fire department through donations, adding it would not have been possible to acquire the boat without them.







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