WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - The United State Coast Guard station in Wrightsville Beach received a new boat that will improve response time in search and rescue missions.
The boat is called the Response Boat-Medium; it will replace the 41-foot utility boat that has served the Coast Guard for 30 years.
The RB-M is faster and more mobile than the utility boat. It can reach a maximum speed of 42.5 knots and hold up to 20 survivors and four crew members. The RB-M has no propeller which makes for safer rescues, instead it has two diesel engines with water jet propulsion.
Inside the RB-M is four seats for crew members, who originally stood during their trips at sea using the utility boat which only had one seat. The RB-M is equipped with four Forward Looking Infrared technology stations. FLIR assists the Coast Guard in detecting objects in the water.
The RB-M cost $2.2 million but the crew says, it is worth every penny.
"One life is more than $2.2 million," says Petty Officer Eric Tucker. "So if we pull just one person out with this boat, the United States government has spent its money properly."
Most Wrightsville Beach Coast Guard personnel have been trained and the RB-M is fully functional and ready to be put to use.
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