- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh has purchased a $93,000 hovercraft so police River Rescue crews will have more flexibility to respond to emergencies in icy or shallow water.

The city used a federal Homeland Security grant to cover 75 percent of the cost of the boat, which essentially floats on a cushion of air.

Ray DiMichiei (dee-mih-SHAY’) says the hovercraft can go places other boats can’t, such as when crews struggled to respond to a flash flood on Washington Boulevard in August 2011, where an elderly woman drowned when crews couldn’t get to her submerged vehicle in regular boats.

Officer Sam Muoio (MOY’-oh), who pilots the hovercraft, tells the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (https://bit.ly/Nn1CSm ) that it’s useful in icy waters, too. That’s because a regular boat can push icy chunks together, possibly squeezing someone in the water, instead of floating on the surface.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, https://pghtrib.com

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