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Neoteric Helps Secure U.S. Border


Contact: Christopher Fitzgerald, President, Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.
812-234-1120, Email: hovermail@neoterichovercraft.com

Manuel Figueroa, Immigration and Naturalization Service
El Centro Sector Public Affairs, PH 7600-352-3241

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Immigration and Naturalization Service have announced that a hovercraft manufactured by Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc., Terre Haute, Indiana, is an integral part of their new border security and safety program.

Chris Fitzgerald, President of Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc., delivered a hovercraft this month to the INS Border Patrol in El Centro, California, where he conducted operational training. Fitzgerald states, "The use of emerging hovercraft technology for border security is representative of the solid commitment President Bush has made to creating a more secure United States."

Fitzgerald has invited President Bush to the formal opening of first World Symposium on Hovercraft Rescue, to be held September 16 at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute. The Symposium is being held in conjunction with 2002 World Hovercraft Week, for which Fitzgerald is serving as Chairman. For information about World Hovercraft Week and the first World Symposium on Hovercraft Rescue, go to www.PictureTrail.com/whc2002 and www.whc2002.com

In a May 23 announcement of the hovercraft deployment and other new security measures, INS Commissioner James Ziglar said, "These latest steps represent a major breakthrough in the ongoing effort to make the southern border safer for people of both nations. We are committed to doing everything possible to making our southern border safer and more secure, and that should be reassuring for citizens of both nations."

Border Patrol agents will use the hovercraft to patrol the All-American Canal, an agricultural channel that divides the United States and Mexico in California's Imperial Valley, 150 miles east of San Diego. This area, designated as a "high-risk zone" by the INS and Mexico, is the primary focus of the new security program. Dozens of illegal immigrants have drowned in recent years in the Canal, and many more were rescued. Located in a rural area, the Canal is used by migrant smugglers in order to avoid heavier border security around San Diego.

The All-American Canal transports 3.1 million acre-feet of water annually from the Colorado River into California's Imperial Valley, delivering water and hydroelectric power to nine cities and 500,000 acres of agricultural land. Rescue operations are complicated by the deceptively swift water, the steep banks, the turbines used for hydroelectric generation, and the intricate system of drops and gates throughout the Canal. Additionally, the Imperial Valley Water Authority has not previously permitted boat patrols on the Canal due to concern about bank erosion from wash. Fitzgerald explains, "Hovercraft were chosen due to their ability to conduct safe rescues in such adverse conditions. They can travel over any surface, and operate particularly well in fast-moving water. Hovercraft can enter the Canal over the steep banks with minimal bank preparation, can be easily trailered around the drops and gates, and they eliminate the problem of bank erosion because they create little wake. Additionally, hovercraft don't pollute the water with oil, as boats do."

As border patrol plays an increasingly important role in homeland security, Fitzgerald expects that hovercraft will be more widely used. He explains, "Hovercraft can serve a vital role in the lakes along the northern U.S. borders. First responders worldwide have recognized their value in performing fast, safe rescues on swift water, ice, snow, and partially frozen waters when other vehicles cannot. And hovercraft are more cost-effective than helicopters."

Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc. has been manufacturing rescue, commercial and recreational hovercraft since 1975. First responder agencies and other organizations utilizing Neoteric Hovercraft include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Anchorage International Airport; Heilongjung River Commission and Huaihe River Commission, China; National Institute of Environmental Research, Korea; Esso Petroleum, Colombia, South America; and fire, sheriff and search and rescue departments throughout the United States.


Neoteric Hovercraft, Inc.
1649 Tippecanoe Street Terre Haute, Indiana USA 47807-2394
Telephone: 1-812-234-1120 / 1-800-285-3761 Fax: 877-640-8507

www.neoterichovercraft.com / www.rescuehovercraft.com
E-mail: hovermail@neoterichovercraft.com
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