Ohio sheriff office adds amphibious vehicle to its fleet
The SHERP vehicle will be used for ice and water rescues in the county’s marshland
By Joanna Putman
PORT CLINTON, Ohio — The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office has added an amphibious vehicle to its special equipment lineup, the Fremont News Messenger reported.
The SHERP off-road vehicle can carry up to 10 people, according to the report. It can move up to 25 mph on land and up to 4 mph in water. The department intends to use the vehicle for rescues in the county’s marshland.
“One nice thing about it is we can drive it across the ice. If there’s an ice floe, we can fall through and then drive back up on the ice and rescue people,” Sheriff Stephen Levorchick told the Fremont News Messenger. “It will allow us to respond to incidents in a much more diverse environment.”
The vehicle was purchased with a $210,000 Homeland Security grant, which also covers the truck and trailer needed to tow the vehicle and driver training, according to the report.
The vehicle’s tires propel it in water, meaning it can go places motorboats have to avoid, according to the report. The lightness of its tires and wheels makes it more useful on marshland than other off-road vehicles.
“It will allow us to access flood zones and other natural disasters, that evacuation and other issues are required for public safety,” Captain Aaron Leist said. “The tires deflate and inflate with the flip of a switch. Think of going up on a slippery ledge, like on our lakeshore, with algae, or ice. It can climb right up the moving ice.”