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Thread: NRP Officers to Test New Airboat on Deep Creek Lake

  1. #1 Editor Editor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2003
    Southern Maryland

    NRP Officers to Test New Airboat on Deep Creek Lake

    There’s a new boat on Deep Creek Lake that rises above it all — literally.

    Maryland Natural Resources Police officers are training on a 32-foot airboat, capable of skimming above winter’s ice to quickly reach an emergency to provide comfort and assistance.

    NRP 149, purchased a little more than a year ago with a federal grant, is one of the law enforcement agency’s largest vessels and one of its most specialized. It has a top speed of well over 100 mph and it takes a delicate touch to make it run straight and true.

    For that reason, even seasoned NRP boating officers need additional training.

    “It’s pretty wild and very loud, like a racecar,” said Officer First Class Jessica Felsecker, who was one of the first to take the wheel. “You need the ear protection, even inside, and the rear fan is very powerful, it will knock you over, no problem. It’s very hard to steer on the ice, like a giant spinning top with the occasional bout of straightforward motion.”

    NRP commanders decided to strictly regulate the training schedule due to the size, speed and sound produced by the vessel.

    “We will only use it on weekdays for the next month or so to give our officers a chance to familiarize themselves with its operation should it ever be needed in a rescue or emergency situation,” said NRP Capt. Kelley Johnson, the western region commander.

    The steel-clad vessel made its debut on the frozen Choptank River in Cambridge about a year ago as it helped federal law enforcement forces provide security at the House Republican Conference, which attracted Speaker John Boehner, then-Majority Leader Eric Cantor and other political leaders. The airboat was able to patrol offshore in places where conventional boats could not.

    NRP 149 will be on public display on Feb. 21 at the 17th annual MSP/NRP Deep Creek Dunk to benefit the athletes of Maryland Special Olympics. Officers will be available to answer questions.
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  2. #2
    I would like to see the specs for it and other views of the hull. From the one picture it looks an accident in the making.

  3. #3
    That's a great idea. A 60mph, flat-bottom, aluminum skiff on Deep Creek Lake on a Saturday afternoon. Not with me in it.

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