Inflatable Rescue Boats

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Every time I think I have seen all of the inflatable items in the world, I find a new one that comes along. The cool thing about inflatable vehicles is the ability that they have to do things that a lot of normal vehicles cannot, like move around areas that normally aren’t traveled. This week, I’ll be talking about inflatable rescue boats, which aid lifeguards when swimmers or sea travelers are in danger.

The Otago Daily Times is reporting that two inflatable ships helmed by lifeguards have been circumnavigating New Zealand to commemorate a century of life saving on the New Zealand surf:

“Lifeguards circumnavigating New Zealand in two inflatable rescue boats (IRBs), covering more than 5000km, are scheduled to arrive at St Clair beach by about 2pm tomorrow, sea conditions permitting. The IRBs, commemorating a century of surf life-saving in New Zealand, safely crossed Foveaux Strait yesterday and stayed overnight at Mason Bay on Stewart Island, with intentions to get to Porpoise Bay, near Waikawa in the Catlins, today. While the two IRBs expect to be able to punch into the north swell with relative ease today, lone kayaker Tim Taylor remains stuck in Dunedin in his separate 5500km circumnavigation of New Zealand, awaiting safer kayaking conditions before resuming his southern route.”

However the trip has not been without its problems. Bad weather has caused a few delays because some of the routes that the boats take are extremely dangerous in rough weather conditions:

“They had to shelter in Breaksea Sound because of the bad weather for two days before they headed to Preservation Inlet, then made their next landfall at Oreti beach, Invercargill, on Saturday. Foveaux Strait on a bad day is considered one of the most dangerous passages in the world, but driver Blake Ingram said from Stewart Island yesterday that the six-hour crossing from Oreti beach to Mason Bay by 3pm was was “relatively flat”‘ with a rolling 2m swell and otherwise “favourable” weather.”


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