The North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad yesterday added a 23-foot Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) amphibious search and rescue boat to its fleet. The boat is unique from all other rescue boats because it utilizes Ocean Craft Marine’s proprietary four-wheel-drive amphibious land mobility system that greatly expands the boat’s rescue capabilities and significantly reduces the squad’s response time.
The North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad, which began water rescues in 1958, is one of the oldest rescue squads in South Carolina. The rescue squad is responsible for water rescues of swimmers/boaters in-distress, overturned boats, jet ski crashes, aquatic search and rescue, vehicles in the water, medical emergencies on boats, aircraft emergencies involving the water and post hurricane search and rescue. The water rescue program has evolved into one of the premier ocean and freshwater rescue services in the state. The team is an active resource for use by the United States Coast Guard, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Horry County Fire Rescue, North Myrtle Beach, and Myrtle Beach departments.
“Each year our service responds to numerous water rescue calls to support North Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue, North Myrtle Beach Police Department’s Beach Patrol, and Horry County Fire Rescue EMS. Our goal is to lessen the time from arrival to getting into the water. We believe this new boat will save precious minutes, will require a smaller launching and retrieval crew, and allow us to travel where currently no boat can," says Randy Gardner, chief of North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad.
The rescue boat was constructed in fiberglass using Ocean Craft Marine’s high-performance concave reverse chine designed hull-form for exceptional on-water performance and is powered by a Mercury Marine 250HP V-8 outboard motor. Additionally, the boat features shock-mitigating seating mounted to a deck track system for ease of adjustment. The boat was designed to exceed North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad’s stringent operational requirements including the need for a hinged and folding T-Top as well as a folding electronics arch at the stern due to the height restriction at the firehouse.
The amphibious search and rescue boat offers dynamic performance including high-speed tactical turns at varying speeds and in rough sea conditions without fear of submersion, exceptional high load carrying capacity in excess of 1.5 tons, and the ability to run continuously at speeds of 63 mph in high sea state or seas as shallow as 3.3 feet.
“The North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad’s amphibious rescue boat is a highly specialized craft providing the unique ability to launch and recover the boat from any beach thus providing for greatly enhanced incident response times from this rescue team. We hope that the boat’s unique capabilities will help to save many lives,” said Todd Salus, vice president of Ocean Craft Marine.
As part of its commitment to customer service throughout the life cycle of every boat it manufactures, Ocean Craft Marine also delivered a week-long course of intense boat-maintenance and boat-operator instruction to the North Myrtle Beach Rescue Squad.
About Ocean Craft Marine
Based in Annapolis, MD, Ocean Craft Marine helps professional and recreational boaters successfully accomplish their individual boating missions by providing the safest, highest quality, purpose-built rigid-hull inflatable boats in the world. They offer a unique combination of deep, global boat building experience, a dynamic design and production process and a dedication to comprehensive customer service. For additional information on Ocean Craft Marine, visit oceancraftmarine.com. Stay connected with Ocean Craft Marine on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.