Over the last few years, inflatable boat manufacturers have designed boats specifically for search and rescue missions. Local and national organizations that range from private companies to military branches have used search and rescue boats in every type of rescue mission imaginable.
For a boat to be classified as a search and rescue craft, it must meet minimum standards set by the US Coast Guard. Keep in mind that these regulations are different from regular USCG boating safety regulations and must meet higher safety standards for search and rescue professionals.
Inflatable Rescue Boat Uses
The primary function of inflatable search and rescue boats is to save the lives of victims in distress. Some of the scenarios in which inflatable boats are highly valuable include
Travelers may be in a deserted area along the coast or a river or lake, unable to get out due to an emergency. They are surrounded by water on all sides and have no way of leaving the area on foot. Local authorities can use search and rescue boats to extract victims and get them to safety.
Sometimes natural disasters can cause flooding in areas where flooding is not normally a problem. Tsunamis, hurricanes, heavy rains, and other disasters may cause catastrophe, trapping victims in flood waters. Inflatable rescue boats can help rescue teams get to victims faster, preventing injury or fatality.
Search for Missing People
Victims can go missing along the coast or in lakes and rivers. Trying to recover missing victims by foot or land vehicles can be impossible. Inflatable rescue boats can help rescue teams get into areas that are otherwise hard to access. Easy access can help these teams save victims before it's too late.
Why Rescue Teams Prefer Inflatable Rescue Boats
There are several characteristics of an inflatable rescue boat that makes it the perfect vessel for rescue teams.
When rescuing victims in water scenarios, time is critical. Therefore, every movement on the rescue team must be planned, calculated, and fluid. Inflatable boats allow you to pull victims into the boat via the open transom. The open floor or platform also allows you to perform CPR on the victim on-site without waiting until you get to land.
Safety crews don’t want to think about the equipment they use to save lives. They should be able to depend on the equipment to work efficiently with little thought or effort. Inflatable boats are highly convenient because they are easy to set up, break down, and store. They are compact enough to fit into any rescue or off-road vehicle.
Inflatable boats are safe due to their rugged construction and design. Rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) are engineered to cut through waves. Their flexibility allows them to absorb waves and plan the water surface better than traditional boats. The layout of inflatable boats is stable to allow dive crews to get in and out of the water quickly without tipping the boat.
High-end inflatable boats - i.e., military-grade RIBs can travel between 40 and 70 knots in severe weather conditions without going airborne or tipping. Inflatable rescue boats can accelerate faster than traditional boats and maintain higher speeds in bad conditions, allowing rescuers to get to victims faster.
The biggest stigma against inflatable boats is that it is easy to puncture the hull. However, the hull fabric, the flexibility of the material, and the lightweight boat make for a puncture-resistant hull that holds far better in extreme conditions than traditional boats. With regular care, an inflatable boat can last at least ten years.
The cost of inflatable boats includes both up-front purchase costs - which can range from $2,000 to $10,000 for a pro-level model - and the maintenance costs, which are minuscule compared to the maintenance of a motorized traditional boat. You don’t have to deal with structural maintenance issues since inflatable boats contain fabric that holds up better over time.
Recommended Search Rescue Accessories for Inflatable Boats
Search and rescue boat accessories are just as vital to a rescue crew’s operations as the boat. The right accessories allow the crew to do their job more easily, contributing to the success of the rescue mission. Some of the most useful inflatable boat accessories include
|Automatic inflator||Beach wheels||Boat cover|
|Raft cargo net||Flip lines||Slings|
|Throw bags||Signaling/pyrotechnics||Ditch bags|
|Life vests||Lifebuoy lights||Lifeboat repair kit|
Takacat Boat Options
When it comes to inflatable Rescue Boats, Takacat has got you covered. We have a wide selection of boats in our Takacat LX Series. You can choose from options such as
- Length & Width
- Tube diameter
- Boat weight
- Outboard engine
- Maximum horsepower
Takacat boats are designed to handle rugged waters and extreme weather environments, as well as rescue operations in rivers, lakes, and oceans. Each model is easy to assemble and quickly get your crew on the waterly. The inflatable catamaran style is aerodynamic and allows you to plane water so that you can get to the rescue site faster.
The Takacat LX boats with the open bow and open deck allow an unconscious adult to be pulled from the water much easier than on other inflatables, or even other boats, and provides a flat and hard surface which is perfect for starting CPR even while under way!
The boat is lightweight, allowing you to quickly load from land or water. Plus, the removable tube transom gives you smaller storage needs and will make sure the boat never takes on water. Browse our website to compare Takacat inflatable boat models and accessories.