Designed as a Special Forces boat, Zodiac Milpro’s FC470 has seen a fair amount of active military combat, but it’s raised its game and is now being enlisted to help the Wales Fire Service win against ‘Acts of God’.
The services needed an easily deployed boat to rescue flood victims, as well as carrying out rescue missions on inland waterways.
Therefore, no less than 17 of these robust inflatables are distributed throughout the organization’s three main districts. Interestingly, the boats will be paired with 4-stroke outboards from another longstanding company EP Barrus. The outboards can easily be raised or removed so that the boats can be walked through shallow flood waters less than a foot deep.
The fire service trialled and tested many manufactures craft and it was here that the FC470 showed off its many advantages such as it ‘lower buoyancy’ or ‘speed tubes’ that are removable air-filled tubes made out tough CSM (Hypalon) that suit under the main buoyancy tubes. “These tubes give the boat a high degree of manoeuvrability and grip, it doesn’t skid sideways on a turn; it corners as if it is on rails,” said Tom Parry – Zodiac Milpro. ‘If the crew need to do a beach or bank landing with a casualty the FC470 doesn’t rock on a traditional V hull, but remains a level sturdy platform, allowing for stable disembarkation of casualties, crew or equipment.
At 4.7m long with 3m2 of floor area and payload of 1,250kg, it’s designed to hold up to ten passengers – Meet the Zodiac team with the FC470 at stand L79.
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