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Speed Boat Safety

By: Shannon Houser Email
By: Shannon Houser Email

Imagine going upwards of 120 miles per hour in a small enclosed boat on a river.

That's what the drivers of the Marietta Power Boat Riverfront Roar are doing, and it takes a lot of training to safely reach those roaring speeds.

Driver Toby Hood explains one of the training sessions that each driver must complete every two years. "They are strapped into the capsule of a boat and they put us along side the edge of a pool...typically it's done in a hotel pool and they actually push us over the side where the divers are and we have to get ourselves out and extract ourselves from the capsule."

Rescue crews are also present in the event of a crash and this year there will be three crews in the middle of the track to react quickly to any accidents.

"The importance of the rescue team is that they're there right there in the middle of the tack. If there's a problem or anything goes wrong with the boats or they have an accident or a flip or any type of emergency the rescue team is right there in the middle of the track," Williamstown Fire Department Capt. Paul Jordan said.

Not only are there multiple rescue crews out in the water, but each boat comes equipped with many safety features as well.

"It's very tight in here, so you have your belts to worry about, you have the lids to worry about and you have your steering wheel to worry about to get out of your way so you can get out. To get the steering wheel out of the way all I do is pull that, and the whole thing pops up and out of my way to give me a little bit more room to get out, " Hood demonstrated on his boat.

These boats may be small, but they can have more safety features than some vehicles, which is important for the drivers who dare to reach roaring records.


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