CBC News, Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada
19 July 2012
The Moncton Fire Department's newest purchase gives a whole new meaning to the term all-terrain vehicle.
Moncton council approved the purchase of a Neoteric Hovertrek 6 hovercraft for $70,000 earlier this week. The vessel is close to five metres long and can travel on thin ice, shallow water, mud flats, and city streets. It can carry two rescuers and two victims without touching the ground.
"We could actually take the hovercraft across the asphalt down the road to the grass, down to the estuary, the estuary to the river because it has that ability to travel on all these different materials, because it rides on a cushion of air," said Deputy Fire Chief Don McCabe.
McCabe said the hovercraft will fill a new void in Moncton's off-road rescue.
"They opened up the gates of the Petitcodiac River which changes the whole characteristics of the river. The water is constantly flowing, there is no more lake anymore, at one time we had 17 kilometres of waterway, now we have hundreds of acres of mudflats," McCabe said.
The hovercraft is in production and the department hopes to have it hovering in four to six weeks.
Read first responder comments about Neoteric hovercraft in actual rescue operations