Customer Testimonials

The following are some unsolicited comments from our clients.

"Lewis & Clark Search & Rescue was activated on Sunday afternoon to a rafting accident on the Dearborn river. It is a very remote location and not accessible by road. There is a jeep trail that goes through the mountains but it is very slow going. The accident was over 12 miles up river from the mouth which is at the confluence of the Missouri River and the Dearborn River. Our guys were able to go upstream on a very fast moving river at flood stage, typical flow is 200 cfs. Sunday it was 6800 cfs. They went over 12 miles up the raging river to save one of the victims who had been stranded on a rock ledge. A failed attempt by homeland security chopper which resulted in a crash-landing only 15 minutes before our hovercraft arrived!!

There were 2 fatalities. One was recovered on Monday morning. We went up Tuesday and Wednesday and spent 2 more very long days on the river at 3900 cfs and 2500 cfs which is still well above flood stage! It is the most amazing trip up the river on a hovercraft! We were unsucessful at recovering the second victim but will return on Saturday. We tore up the hovercraft pretty good and we need to make repairs and get it ready for the weekend.

The hovercraft is the only piece of equipment that could go up river, ferry dog teams and provide support for rescuers. None of the jet boats could get within 10 miles of the accident site.

...Steve McGee was the hovercraft pilot for the rescue. The water was treacherous and his ability to maneuver the craft in position in such conditions was phenomenal to say the least! This is the first actual rescue mission we have used the hovercraft for since we purchased it. We have done many training and support missions but this is the first time we were able to save a life with the hovercraft! It has paid for itself in one mission!

I was not on the craft at the time of the rescue but I am very proud of the team's ability and the ability of the hovercraft to get us in position in such a dangerous environment. Hovertechnics should also be proud of the vehicles you build! It is very possible that the individual would not have survived through the night if we had not gotten to him.

Take care and be safe out there!"

~ Mike Allen, President, Lewis & Clark Search & Rescue
"This is a news clip of our 1990 Hovertechnics 660 rescue hovercraft that was on the local news channel. We protect Webster Lake in Webster Mass which is the largest natural body of water in the state. We have used the craft on many successful rescues thru the years and it's still going strong!!! You have permission to use this clip in any way that may be beneficial to you.

Thank you for the years of great service and performance."

~ Chris W. Jolda, Chief, Webster Rescue Squad, Webster, MA

"On Thursday September 23, 2004 at 00:29 hours we were dispatched to a boater in distress on the Connecticut River just upstream from the Enfield Dam. On arrival we encountered a 24' pleasure boat with two occupants aboard, their boat had lost power and the operator had dropped anchor. However, high water conditions and the rapid current were carrying off the craft closer to the dam because the anchor was slipping along the river bottom. So the operator threw an improvised anchor as well (rope tied around his boat batter) which did slow the speed of the drifting but did not stop him.

We launched the Hovercraft (flawlessly I might add) and retrieved the boating couple about two hundred yards from the dam. In the dark of night the couple had no idea what was making all the noise behind the head lights that were racing toward them, but they sure were glad to see what pulled up along side their boat and gladly stepped on for the ride to shore where the young couple praised our efforts and the craft. So...chalk another one (two actually) up for our craft.

The Hovercraft has once again proved itself a tremendous addition to our rescue capabilities."

~ Paul Januszewski, Deputy Chief/Training Officer Enfield Fire District No. 1,Station #2 Enfield, CT
"Last night we were called to respond with Hover 196 to a neighboring fire district. Our job - to rescue the rescuers. The Lake Shore Fire Department was dispatched to a very large pond/marsh in their district for the report of possible a body in the water. The body ended up being a plastic toy. But during the course of their "rescue" the rescuers needed to be rescued. The boat they were using bottomed out in the mud quite a distance from their launch site causing them to become trapped. The US Coast Guard was requested to assist. But during the course of their attempt, they blew the motor in their boat. This was due to the "terrain" of the pond/marsh. They next tried a canoe, however that canoe capsized making it useless. They finally called for us.

After responding to the scene and being launched, Hover 196 reached the trapped firefighters in less than a minute! We then proceeded to bring the 2 fire fighters back, along with their boat in tow. These 2 individuals had been in their predicament for over 4 hours. Our hovercraft can truly "go where no others can." A true testament to its capabilities. We made believers out of these firefighters, who quickly wanted to schedule a drill with us in the future to show them exactly what we can do, of course we will oblige. Just wanted to let you know of another successful rescue with one of your crafts. Thanks again..."

~ Vince Pratt, Assistant Deputy Coordinator C-811

"We did it again!"

The Enfield Fire Department rescued a stranded boater in our stretch of the CT River yesterday evening. The boater is a coach for a rowing team from Putney VT - serving as a scout patrolling downriver ahead of his college rowing team that started out Monday from VT and were making their way south to Long Island Sound. When the coach didn't show up at the next scheduled stop (the launch in our end of town) the college girls waited an hour then called for help. We found the coach about a 1/2 mile from the launch, in his boat on which he had damaged the prop and was stuck in very shallow water. With no other craft able to launch to due the low water conditions we were first on scene, launched and retrieved both the coach and his boat with much appreciation from him and the team..."

~ Paul Januszewski, Deputy Chief/Training Officer Enfield Fire District No. 1,Station #2 Enfield, CT
"Thank you for getting our Hovercraft back in service in such a short period of time. Considering the extensive damage to the craft it was quite amazing to see it done so soon. I have enclosed an article from our local paper that shows our craft being used only 2 days after we got it back. Once again, thank you..."

~ Lieutenant Paul Schreiber, Winnebago County Sheriff, WI
"We were called out during an intense storm...(t)he hovercraft did its job incredibly well. It returned those who were victims and those who were a part of its team safely. We accomplished things that only a hovercraft could have accomplished. No other vehicle type was able to attempt what was performed by the hovercraft that night. No helicopter could have flown during that storm and no boat of any type could have been deployed in those waters. It was interesting to note that many rescue boats showed up to a couple of the rescue scenes, but none left their trailers. The hovercraft proved its worth to the community, to the department and to many others. Now neighboring communities are asking why they don't have a hovercraft."

~ Deputy Matt Litter, Ross County Sheriff's Department

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