Aug 31, 2012 / 1:00 pm
The Kelowna RCMP will be a lot quicker on the lake this weekend.
On Saturday, police will hit the waters of Okanagan Lake in their brand new Zodiac police boat.
"The hull is aluminum so its much lighter," says Cst. Rohel Williams, who will operate the watercraft this weekend.
"They have this new technology they call liquid metal aluminum."
This new craft, known as a 'rhib' or 'rigid hull inflatable boat,' is about 30 feet long and powered by dual 150 horsepower Yamaha motors.
The combination makes for an incredibly manoeuvrable craft.
"You can practically turn on a dime," says Williams.
It comes with the latest technology inside a larger and more comfortable cabin for two officers. The boat can also hold up to 14 people.
"We have the Raymarine plotter and depth sounder and new radios, basically it's about 100 times better than the old one."
Williams added it's also faster and handles better in rough water, making it an all-seasons watercraft suitable for bad weather rescue and, with top speeds near 100 km/h, better at pursuing as well.
The older zodiac has a top speed of 50-60 km/h and will remain in service in the Okanagan.
Williams will be responsible for a large portion of the lake this weekend and in the future. His beat covers an area extending from Vernon to Summerland.
While it may seem like it's a little late in the season to launch a new boat, in fact, this weekend's debut is ahead of schedule.
"This (boat) was in construction for a while and we just took possession of it about three weeks ago. It wasn't supposed to be in until next summer," says Williams.
The early arrival meant that Transport Canada could certify the zodiac in time for the RCMP to get their first chance to use it during the final long weekend of the summer.
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