Although we tend to focus on boating as a hobby, it’s important to note that boats serve many functions in a society. From shipping much-needed goods and marine equipment around the globe to participating in important rescue missions, boats are extremely important vehicles.
As you may know, Australia’s east coast has been experiencing record-breaking floods. The city of Brisbane has been one of the hardest hit, with an estimated 30,000 homes flooded, approximately 27 deaths and 51 people reported missing. The flood waters are starting to recede, but Brisbane is far from out of the woods. Damage repairs are expected to cost $6 billion (AUS) and reconstruction will take months, possibly even years, to complete.
A nation-wide emergency has been declared and more than 1,500 residents have signed up in response to a request for volunteers. Locals are hurriedly working to distribute medical supplies, food and clean drinking water to stranded and displaced residents, while others are helping diminish floodwaters through the distribution of sandbags.
Sealegs, an amphibious boat manufacturing company based in Auckland, New Zealand, has been instrumental Brisbane’s relief efforts. Last week, the company deployed a 6.1 metre RIB rescue craft to Logan, one of Brisbane’s worst-affected areas. Because the boat is specially designed to craft treacherous terrain, it was able to work successfully with the Queensland State Emergency Services (SES) rescue operation to rescue 40 stranded people.
Using special, patented technology, Sealegs consist of motorised, retractable and steerable wheels that are attached to specially-designed boats, with an aim to eliminate the hassle of launching and retrieving a boat.
A Sealegs boat can be driven from a storage location and into the water. The 6.1 RIB was designed as a general-purpose boat, but is sturdy enough to navigate the trickiest of terrains, making it a perfect rescue vehicle for Brisbane’s flood victims.
Sealegs will be sending out another rescue craft to Brisbane in the coming days and will work alongside SES to continue their rescue efforts.
To learn more about the flooding, or to find out how you can help, visit the Queensland Government’s official website.