GARC Rescue Boats

It’s a boat! It’s a plane! It’s a boat falling from a plane! Nearly 60 years after Uffa Fox designed the first lifeboat to be airdropped from a plane, Hodgdon Defense Composites, an affiliate of Maine-based Hodgdon Yachts, and Rapid Response Technology have perfected the task. Web Extra from our September 2012 issue.

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The high-end yacht manufacturer has received two contracts to build 21 boats that can be airdropped from C-130s and used by Special Forces to conduct rescue operations anywhere in the world.Courtesy of Hodgdon Defense Composites
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Hodgdon met this challenge with the Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft (GARC), which resembles the design of a personal watercraft. At 12 feet long with room for four, this military-grade vessel is powered by a -143-horsepower water-jet engine capable of speeds in excess of 40 knots. A composite hull was designed to cushion the ride for missions conducted in rough seas.Courtesy of Hodgdon Defense Composites
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“This company proves that, even in tough times, there is always a market for superior craftsmanship,” says U.S. Sen. Susan Collins. “Whenever I advocate for federal funding for Maine, I do so fully confident that Maine (and Hodgdon) will deliver.”Courtesy of Hodgdon Defense Composites
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For photos from Coast Guard rescue swimmer Mario Vittone, click here.Courtesy of Hodgdon Defense Composites