|Updated: 3/11/2013 5:11 pm
||Published: 3/11/2013 3:17 pm
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol started training on two new boats in the Arkansas River.
OHP tells FOX23’s Ian Silver the two new security boats from the Department of Homeland Security will enhance OHP’s ability to respond to a disaster. The new boats are capable of reaching speeds topping 70 miles per hour, ensuring faster response times.
“They’re an all metal boat, completely air tight. The electronics on them are state of the art. The full cabin boat has a flir system on it,” says Lt. Kurt McKean with OHP Marine Enforcement.
The flir system allows troopers to see clearly when it is dark out, without being seen by others. The boats also have side sonar systems that allow troopers to search for bodies hidden under the water.
OHP says the main purpose of the boat is to respond more effectively to help as many people as possible during a major disaster. The boat can also serve as a mobile command center to coordinate major events.
The two new boats are both 27 feet long and cost $500,000, they were paid for by a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. One boat will stay on the Kerr-McClellan Water Navigation System and the other can be deployed on any lake or river in the state.