Posted by: stiltsville | June 18, 2010

S.W.A.T. Boat to aid oil-soaked wildlife in Gulf

Mark Castlow, Jimmy Buffett and the Gulf Coast SWAT boat

The first of four specially designed Shallow Water Attention Terminal (S.W.A.T.) boats built and designed by Florida-based Dragonfly Boatworks,and funded by Margaritaville Holdings and Landshark Lager heads to the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Southern Mississippi this week to begin a massive rescue effort.

Prompted by images of an ever-widening oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which threatens Mississippi, Alabama and Florida’s coast, Vero Beach boat-builder, Mark Castlow, Jimbo Meador and Meador’s longtime friend, musician Jimmy Buffett, “had to do something.”  All three men have long histories in, on, and around water earning their livings and loving the lifestyle.  All three are concerned with short and long-term effects the spill will have on the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean, on visible marine life and the less-visible eggs and microorganisms that support the system.

“Instead of pointing fingers, we wanted to lend a hand,” Meador said.  That led to the design of the S.W.A.T. boat.  Using multiple resources, Buffett, Castlow and Meador designed the “life” boat for oil-injured wildlife. Unique features set the rescue boat apart: shallow draft with a bow-mounted trolling motor to avoid unnecessary noise, a worktable mounted mid-deck coated with a sanitary gel and a coarse surface to help animals grip without slippage, solar fans, a misting system to cool researchers and wildlife, plus a folding, collapsible canopy shading the entire boat.  The Evinrude Company, showed it’s concern about the cleanup effort in the Gulf by promptly donating four low-maintenance 40-HP ETE outboards, which exceed all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations.  SWAT boats will also be equipped with a camera system so that researchers and the public can view the activities on the Internet.

For further information about SWAT boats contact Dragonfly Boats at www.dragonflyboatworksllc.com

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