Pittsburgh seeks hovercraft for river rescues

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PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh is seeking a federal grant to buy a hovercraft that officials say will allow rescuers to safely approach the banks of the western Pennsylvania city’s three rivers and can also be used in winter when they are frozen over.


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the city is seeking a Department of Homeland Security grant for the $100,000 purchase.


Emergency management director Ray Demichiei says the four-seat hovercraft would be used in rescues, to help disabled boats and barges that have broken free and for security patrols.


The craft would allow rescuers to safely approach riverbanks without puncturing their regular boats and can deploy during water emergencies when rivers are iced.


Demichiei said the federal funds can only be used for port security, so they’re being applied to the river needs.


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