Huffmaster explained the boat the county took possession of last week is an 18 foot all welded boat, with a mercury 60/40 four stroke motor. It was purchased with a portion of a $16,000 grant the county received from a Homeland Security Grant, through the Department of Emergency Management.
Huffmaster and Dan Melbourne with Sharp County Office or Emergency Management, were instrumental in helping the county receive the boat. The grant also allowed the department to purchase additional scuba equipment for the county's dive team. The boat was custom built for the department after Huffmaster ordered it from Current River Marine in Doniphan, Mo.
The boat will be used for scuba divers and for rescue. Huffmaster said he realized during last spring's rescue mission of a drowning victim at the Kia Kima Boy Scout Camp in Fulton County, that the county did not have enough space in its small boat to shuttle dive teams and rescue members.
During the Kia Kima mission, the sheriff's department and other agencies joined the search to help the Fulton County Sheriff's Department which did not have a rescue boat.
Huffmaster explained that the county's new boat is exactly like the Pocahontas Fire Department boat that assisted during the Fulton County drowning.
"We hope we never have to use it, but we know we will," he said. The sheriff's department would like to thank the Sharp County OEM office for helping them obtain the boat for the department.
The Kia Kima tragedy also resulted in a successful Fulton County rescue boat fund drive. Fulton County is to receive their new rescue boat this month.