At 4.7 metres long and equipped with 40 hp Mariner outboard engines, the new Zodiac Milpro boats are more stable and provide more power and deck space than their predecessors. For the people of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes this means that the water rescue teams are better equipped for operating in fast-flowing waters and can carry more people to safety whenever the need arises. The new boats use the unique new Zodiac Futura hull design that features two removable inflatable tubes fixed to the hull below the water line. These make it more stable in fast turns and increase its payload by enhancing its buoyancy. They also enable the boat to plane more quickly which adds to its overall speed and economy.
The boat crews are made up of fire fighters from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service who have been additionally trained to a high standard in powerboat operation and water rescue techniques in-line with the latest DEFRA (Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs) requirements. The boats are mounted on trailers supplied by SBS Ltd and towed by specialised support vehicles. The FC 470 based at Beaconsfield is now available to undertake rescue work on the River Thames while the Newport Pagnell-based boat is located where it can provide coverage on the River Ouse, the Grand Union Canal and the numerous lakes in the area.
The new boats have been welcomed by Paul Harrison, the lead officer for water rescue, who is very experienced with the demands that can be placed upon fire service boat crews. “When you are operating in a major flood you have to consider the potential hazards created by obstacles that are hidden in the water below you,” he said. “Submerged cars are common but on one occasion we found ourselves passing-over a submerged tractor. In this environment, you need to be confident about the strength and durability of the boats you are operating. I believe that with our new Zodiac Milpro boats and their Mercedes support vehicles, the people of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes can be assured that we now have the best possible water rescue equipment available for the risks we currently face.”
Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes Fire and Rescue Service selected its new boats from a range of over sixty models available from Zodiac Milpro. The company possibly has the world’s most famous name in inflatable boats and is headquartered in Paris and supplies its UK customers through Zodiac Milpro UK Ltd which is based in South Wales.
Zodiac Milpro is known to have originated most of the major concepts that have driven the development of the modern inflatable boat from the 1930s. Since then, Zodiac Milpro has become the world’s principal manufacturer of inflatable and semi-rigid boats for professional and military applications with more than 20,000 boats in daily use by over 80 military forces across the globe. The company now has professional teams focused on supporting the most demanding military and professional customers and has ISO 9001 approved production facilities in Spain, Canada, UK and USA. Each location is staffed by experienced research and development, sales and marketing teams. With approved service centres in most parts of the world, Zodiac Milpro also has a network of trained specialists available to give assistance and support to customers and products.
For more information visit: www.zodiacmilpro.com.
UK commercial enquiries contact
Military/ Commercial sales manager
Zodiac MILPRO International UK Ltd
Dafen, Llanelli, Carmarthensire, UK SA14 8NA
Tel : +44 (0)1554 882000, Fax : +44 (0)1554 882007
Web site www.zodiacmilpro.com (http://../Local%
International commercial enquiries contact:
Zodiac Milpro International
32 bis boulevard Haussmann, 75009, Paris, France
Tel + 33 1 82 73 02 70
Web site www.zodiacmilpro.com