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Thread: hurricane flooding rescue boat

  1. #1
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    Default hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Houston has called for civilian boaters to aid in their rescue of people stranded in their homes by rising flood waters. I have seen flat bottom John Boats as well as jet skies and bass boats being trailered in. It has me thinking what an emergency response boat would best feature. I know it would have a shallow draft, be trailerable, possibly have a water jet engine for shallow water, what else? Also, what should the rescue boat be equipped with......line, tools, etc. It might be inexpensive to build and easily stored out of the way when not needed. Any design ideas?
    “Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily" Johann Von Schiller

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    On a WBF , I reckon a Rescue Minor or a Shoals Runner would be nice.
    Rob J.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    I've always wondered why the government couldn't have a small fleet of something like the old army ducks which could be hauled in on flatbed trailers for flood victim rescues. We have a couple companies using old ones for tours at the Wisconsin Dells. One would think they could design, upgrade, and modernize that sort of amphibious vehicle and keep them ready to transport and deploy as needed (which seems to be every couple of years lately).


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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Shallow draft, unsinkable and stable. Water jet is too complicated, if the water is too shallow for an outboard, get out and tow it. We tend to use RIB's when dealing with our floods.

    However, plywood/aluminium stackable garveys with double bottoms for reserve buoyancy would be a good solution.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Pretty hard to beat an outboard powered RIB with some protection around the prop.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Even up here in Maine there are rescue boats with big air props like in the Everglades.

    There are modern versions of the amphibious Duckboats, Roger Long designed the one that takes tourists out on the bay here. Holds a crowd, too.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by StevenBauer View Post
    Even up here in Maine there are rescue boats with big air props like in the Everglades.
    They are using them in Houston.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-u...d-lorry-driver

    If you want to keep a good supply in storage and easy to transport, stackable, like banks dories is the way to go. You could put a stack of 4 or 5 on a trailer or flatbed, with motors oars and boat-hooks stowed in the top one like in a skip.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Around here I think they use them for ice related rescue activities.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    On the N. Jersey shore the C.G. Does still have a WWII "Larc" (small version of a Duck) that gets periodic use.

    (On checking it seems the Larc was a 50's design, not WWII.)
    Last edited by nedL; 08-28-2017 at 11:16 AM.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    I'd have setting poles in them.
    Ben Fuller
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    I'd have setting poles in them.
    Yep, that is why I specified boat hooks in post #7. Dual purpose for economy.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    In the end the most useful boats are the ones actually available at short notice.

    Amphibious vehicles of all sorts might be useful.

    RIB's are the standard for search and rescue. Ultra safe, stable and with a built in bumper/fender. My family used to own a manufacturing plant for inflatable boats in Germany many years ago. In the early 60s before I was even born they were using their boats to rescue people when the local brook flooded the town.

    When rescuing folks from the water a rescue boat needs throwables on board and grips, lines or something else to grab onto on the outside. There are retrieval systems that can be slid under a floating person and then be used to bring them on board over the side.

    When rescuing people from a roof or other structures they need a way to attach or hold the boat steady and an uncluttered interior so people don't hurt themselves in the boat when they have to jump down a bit. It would be helpful to have a boat big enough to carry several rescued people in addition to the skipper, an assistant, and a lookout in the front to spot people to rescue and who watches for submerged obstacles and can push the boat off them. Flood waters will likely be muddy and laden with debris.

    Recently our Search and Rescue team was called in to recover a drowning victim. The body was under water and bobbing up and down a lot; our RIB crew couldn't retrieve him and it ended up being a local pontoon boat that fished the fellow out of the water. Because I live further away it was all over when I got there, I just saw the fellow's white feet sticking out from under a sheet in the back of the ambulance.

    One always hopes to rescue people and animals alive, but body recovery is often an important part of rescue operations and we try to do it with the utmost dignity. Especially if family is watching just grabbing them with a boathook won't do unless it is in a raging current and the body would be lost forever.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    I've always wondered why the government couldn't have a small fleet of something like the old army ducks which could be hauled in on flatbed trailers for flood victim rescues.
    Our town has a couple of ducks ( DUKW, I believe is the actual acronym, but not positive) for just this reason, as there are areas prone to coastal flooding without need for a storm the size of a hurricane. There are also RIBS, garveys, Boston Whalers and PWC in the Bay Constable feet.




    The individual village fire departments and an/or ambulance corp also all have either an outboard powered RIB or garvey.





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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Yep, that is why I specified boat hooks in post #7. Dual purpose for economy.
    Been our experience landing and coming off of rocky beaches etc that the average boat hook isn't long enough for efficient poling. (Maine Island Trail boats) We run to 10-12 foot poles. We've been able to get into places that RIB drivers especially ones with big engines like the Coast Guard don't want to go for fear of prop or lower unit damage.
    Ben Fuller
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Fuller View Post
    Been our experience landing and coming off of rocky beaches etc that the average boat hook isn't long enough for efficient poling. (Maine Island Trail boats) We run to 10-12 foot poles. We've been able to get into places that RIB drivers especially ones with big engines like the Coast Guard don't want to go for fear of prop or lower unit damage.
    Good point well made.
    But off topic.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    There is always going to be a place for a tough rescue boat staffed by trained professionals but when limited resources face overwhelming demand I think supporting self-rescue becomes a valid strategy. That is why we have stairs/fire escapes and elevators in buildings and why "bedrooms" are required by code to have a secondary means of egress (insert snarky comment here about the "evils" of regulation).

    Rather than hard bulky boats that are difficult to store and transport how about small light duty inflatables? More than a pool toy but less than an open-ocean lifeboat. Something that blows up to the size of a double sit-on-top kayak with an attached set of paddles would probably work and you just drop off as many as are needed. Once people are safely in the raft they can tie off to something solid or paddle to safety. Using a manual pump would eliminate worries about compressed gas cylinders, once purchased the rafts could be stored for years without needing maintenance.

    It is a classic Mass Casualty Incident tactic, the triage team goes through the scene telling anybody who can walk to do so over to a designated place where they can get help after the more seriously injured are dealt with in place.
    Steve

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    People get pretty inventive in emergencies air mattresses, wash tubs as well as just about anything that floats will get pressed into service. For a boat that is common just about all over the US, the Carolina Skimmer or similar with an outboard plus a small kicker can be ideal. A 20 or 20+ foot version has a double bottom for flotation, a large rectangular open space that can be boarded or exited anywhere except at the motor and can carry a huge number of people including wheel chairs and stretchers. These boats normally carry a big stack of crab pots that dictates a big open flat area so are great haulers. They are flat bottomed, built tough and with a small kicker can go in very shallow water. https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...oats&fr=mcafee
    Tom L

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    any of the true Texas flats boats, flounder boats or scooter boats would be very effective..as far as a specific design Id go with a XF20 or microdraft boat.... they rest in 2-3 inch's and run in less providing a 20x 8 working area.

    throw a 25-30 hp motor on it so it can plane when needed and put whatever equipment you desire.
    personally id put 4 recessed rollers/castors in hull for quickly pushing it down/over short stretches of pavement that isn't flooded, maybe line the gunnels with inflatable tube, and a large full length coffin box for seating and to hold gear, supplies , water, and (gulp) anything else of value. think Id also put a compressor and carry a bunch of innertubes or other inflatables to throw to people in need of temporary floatation.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Watching the news, I had the same question. What would be the perfect hurricane rescue boat? I think trailerable would be preferable to assemble/inflate on site, for faster deployment. If it's being trailered, I would opt for larger than the 25 or 30hp. Looking at the inflatables on the news, most seem to have 50 or 60hp outboards.
    If the boat was max loaded and had to fight strong current from some of those bayous, I think more hp would be safer. But I guess you could carry a 25hp over dry spots if you had to. My Yamaha 25 weighs 175lbs so they are not really portables.
    A feature I would absolutely include would be a rectifier/regulator on the outboard so you can run gps/chartplotters, charge batteries for lights, and put in USB charging ports for phones. Even if your outboard doesn't have electric start, you can add the rect/reg to it and connect it to a battery or batteries. Most newer motors already have a lighting coil so it's a pretty simple bolt on.
    My biggest question is the type of drive. A jet drive was mentioned and that was my 1st thought too. Seems safer, especially with all those people in the water.
    Also appears that it would be less apt to get damaged when bumping the street, fireplug, or park bench below the surface. I have never used an outboard style jet but have experience with V8 powered jet boats as well as jetskis. It's amazing the amount of trash that can go thru an impeller but in swampy areas, moss covering the intake will stop you cold. A ski rope getting sucked up can do a lot of damage. I've jetski'd the bayous of southeast Texas and have spent time on the bank with the ski upside down removing the shaft and impeller to cut out a vine or trot line. PWC's are pretty robust ( I jetski'd 385 mile up the Sabine river from Sabine Pass to Carthage TX) but moss and trash can leave you on the side of the trail. And that is why I have a question about the outboard style jet. The water intake area for the jet is a lot smaller than my jet boat and even looks much smaller than the intake for my ski. I would think that would make them more prone to getting fouled by debris. That's my question. Is this type of drive suited for shallow, trash filled, moderate current water?

  20. #20
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Might want to rethink the DUKW
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...me-months.html

    maybe a hovercraft instead, not much use for listening for cries for help though

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Some good thoughts and I agree pretty much all the way with jfraymond. My main thought is that a rescue boat for a situation like Houston is that it should already be available from fishermen or from local dealers with very little work needed. The main asset of these boats is the big flat rectangular area on a minimum draft that is very stable and can be worked from any side and carry a big load. Fast moving water is not normally a factor with inland hurricane flooding which I have experienced several times so a big motor will not often be needed. A small kicker can be added quickly if needed but push poles can do most of the in close work. The real struggle comes after the wind is gone and just water filled with all kinds of stuff is still there.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    People get pretty inventive in emergencies air mattresses, wash tubs as well as just about anything that floats will get pressed into service. For a boat that is common just about all over the US, the Carolina Skimmer or similar with an outboard plus a small kicker can be ideal. A 20 or 20+ foot version has a double bottom for flotation, a large rectangular open space that can be boarded or exited anywhere except at the motor and can carry a huge number of people including wheel chairs and stretchers. These boats normally carry a big stack of crab pots that dictates a big open flat area so are great haulers. They are flat bottomed, built tough and with a small kicker can go in very shallow water. https://images.search.yahoo.com/sear...oats&fr=mcafee
    Pretty well what I suggested, but without the console so they can be stacked dory style for storage and transport.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  23. #23
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    Fast moving water is not normally a factor with inland hurricane flooding which I have experienced several times so a big motor will not often be needed. A small kicker can be added quickly if needed but push poles can do most of the in close work. The real struggle comes after the wind is gone and just water filled with all kinds of stuff is still there.
    Perhaps topography has something to do with that. In Louisiana, if we get too much rain too quickly, we get flooding. And that water tries to go somewhere fast and creates dangerous current. It washes away bridges and roads and cars off of highways.
    Last August in Louisiana, we had a flooding event near Baton Rouge. No high winds, no storm surge, just 2 1/2 feet of rain in a short period of time. 13 people died in the flooding. I went to Denham Springs and what struck me first was seeing all the vehicles in the roadway that were battered beyond recognition. They looked like they had been flung off a cliff. It was from the current tumbling them over and over. Even though most of the water I saw was knee deep to waist deep, it was all moving to the Amite and Comite rivers. The closer you were to these bigger rivers, the fiercer the current was, but even the smaller creeks feeding the river had scary current for weeks after it stopped raining.
    I guess where the rescue boat is to be operating more specifically dictates what is the best craft. If it's downtown poling people two blocks to higher ground or if it's getting someone out of a tree on Buffalo Bayou, these would be two very different boats.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Probably the best is what's available. I saw a mob calling themselves the Cajun Navy helping out in Texas. Just guys with boats really. Makes much more sense than spending millions of bucks on a standby emergency fleet doesn't it?

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Judging from TV news, an awful lot of the boats are being hand-pulled by folks wading. Much of Houston, it seems, is fairly shallow flooding. (Of not saying that makes it any less horrid)
    Also seeing a fair number of jet skis. Can't say that they are being useful. Lotsa folks might want to help but have neither the skills nor the equipment to do so effectively.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by phiil View Post
    Judging from TV news, an awful lot of the boats are being hand-pulled by folks wading. Much of Houston, it seems, is fairly shallow flooding. (Of not saying that makes it any less horrid)
    Also seeing a fair number of jet skis. Can't say that they are being useful. Lotsa folks might want to help but have neither the skills nor the equipment to do so effectively.
    http://www.duckworksbbs.com/plans/ji...kian/index.htm How about working out something like this with plans specifying everything needed with the Lowes/HD/Menards etc part numbers. No epoxy, roofing tar or whatever dries fastest. Work out simple cuts and simple angles. Idea being as close as there are big box stores still in busness hammer a bunch together and drag em in.

  27. #27
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Question, why would a water jet not be suitable.
    We use them in rivers, coastguard rescue and for commercial cray pot boats that work around rock and kelp.

    Then you could look at the Sealegs range. Up to 11 mtr, water jet or outboard, alloy or RIB. They gave gained a strong following in NZ and Asia, particually river delta country in both recreational, rescue and military application.



    or



    Or



    10 Mph on land and 39 knots twin diesel jet drive, 30% grade climb ability.
    Last edited by Zane Lewis; 08-30-2017 at 06:31 AM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Caddo,

    You have a valid point that there are floods and then other kinds of floods. I do remember some fast moving water along the Yazoo that caught me by surprise once. Still, I am sure that a 22' Skimmer with a suitable engine can handle almost any condition although a more big water boat would be better for fast rivers and creeks. Truth is, the best boat is the one that's available that can save people in need. Skimmers and similar flats type boats are found all over the country and even moreso along the hurricane coasts. I agree that dedicated fleets of special boats are probably going to be less successful than private ones. Boats used by Marine Patrol, game wardens, etc can make a good source of public funded boats that I am sure are already being used. Locally, we have several towns that have been completely lost and moved by storm water.
    Tom L

  29. #29
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    I agree with you Tom.
    There shouldn't be a need for boats to be built for flood rescue.
    There is a need to learn and know how to use what boats that are available to advantage.
    In the debrief , surely there can be an analysis on just how effective different boats were , and what could be done better.
    I don't believe large fast boats , throwing up a big wake are the way to go.
    I know in floods that I have been in , wakes did a lot of damage , breeching sandbag walls etc.
    In flood prone areas , there could be a volunteer group formed , to learn and practise what has been learnt from this , and other floodings.
    Rob J.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by phiil View Post
    Judging from TV news, an awful lot of the boats are being hand-pulled by folks wading. Much of Houston, it seems, is fairly shallow flooding. (Of not saying that makes it any less horrid)
    Also seeing a fair number of jet skis. Can't say that they are being useful. Lotsa folks might want to help but have neither the skills nor the equipment to do so effectively.
    That is what happens in a lot of floods in the UK. The rescuers get out and wade.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  31. #31
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by Zane Lewis View Post
    Question, why would a water jet not be suitable.
    We use them in rivers, coastguard rescue and for commercial cray pot boats that work around rock and kelp.

    Then you could look at the Sealegs range. Up to 11 mtr, water jet or outboard, alloy or RIB. They gave gained a strong following in NZ and Asia, particually river delta country in both recreational, rescue and military application.



    or



    Or



    10 Mph on land and 39 knots twin diesel jet drive, 30% grade climb ability.
    I'm a small shareholder in SeaLegs, the boats are great and their disaster relief versions are incredibly capable cross terrain vehicles that are also good sea boats. Great product, I'm very proud to be associated with them, taught one of their designers at University. Good people.
    That Hibiscus Coast boat is based about 10 mins from my home, I see it out taking kids for rides off the beach pretty regularly. It does sterling duty in search and rescue, and patrols. One of the big advantages to a volunteer organisation is that although the boat itself costs more, they dont have to maintain a trailer and tow vehicle to launch and retrieve it, and the response time for a call out is much less. Just start it up and drive it out of the shed into the water and away.


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  32. #32
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    For this protected tight quarters water its pretty hard to beat a simple flat bottom garvey or jon boat. In the images and footage I'm seeing there seems to be a lot of cheap aluminum jon boats in use and doing well.

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Our local harbor master has organised the local fleet in order to be able to call upon it in case of emergency. I'm not involved since I don't really have the sort of boat that would be useful. But I'm on the email list, so I get periodic notices of drills and meet ups.

    I think this approach is a good one. A local jurisdiction is taking the initiative in organising volunteers ahead of the need. It gives everyone a leg up on what to expect. I don't know how the volunteers are being organised in Texas, but it just seems logical if something had been done ahead of time, their efforts would be all the more efficient. This sort of program could be put in place anywhere there are a lot of private boats, with minimal expense.

    Jeff

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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Our local harbor master has organised the local fleet in order to be able to call upon it in case of emergency. I'm not involved since I don't really have the sort of boat that would be useful. But I'm on the email list, so I get periodic notices of drills and meet ups.

    I think this approach is a good one. A local jurisdiction is taking the initiative in organising volunteers ahead of the need. It gives everyone a leg up on what to expect. I don't know how the volunteers are being organised in Texas, but it just seems logical if something had been done ahead of time, their efforts would be all the more efficient. This sort of program could be put in place anywhere there are a lot of private boats, with minimal expense.

    Jeff
    I agree entirely Jeff.
    Regards Rob J.

  35. #35
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    Default Re: hurricane flooding rescue boat

    Quote Originally Posted by jpatrick View Post
    Our local harbor master has organised the local fleet in order to be able to call upon it in case of emergency. I'm not involved since I don't really have the sort of boat that would be useful. But I'm on the email list, so I get periodic notices of drills and meet ups.

    I think this approach is a good one. A local jurisdiction is taking the initiative in organising volunteers ahead of the need. It gives everyone a leg up on what to expect. I don't know how the volunteers are being organised in Texas, but it just seems logical if something had been done ahead of time, their efforts would be all the more efficient. This sort of program could be put in place anywhere there are a lot of private boats, with minimal expense.

    Jeff
    Good shout. You should go along even though you don't have a suitable boat, rescue craft need experienced crews as well.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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