Page last updated at 20:56 GMT, Thursday, 18 September 2008 21:56 UK

Rescue craft put through paces

Two similar hovercraft were borrowed from Italy last year

Two new hovercrafts have been put through their paces by Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS).

The two craft, costing 150,000, have been paid for with cash from Severn Trent's Community Recovery fund.

Both are highly-manoeuvrable and can fly backwards and rotate on the spot and are capable of 45 mph (72km/h).

They can move across land, water, mud, ice and other rough surfaces. It is planned the machines could be deployed elsewhere in the UK in an emergency.

Chief fire officer Terry Standing said an appropriate number of people have been trained as pilots to serve Gloucestershire and the rest of the country.

During last summer's floods last year, the Italian fire service brought two similar hovercraft to Gloucestershire.

They proved invaluable - most notably recovering the body of Mitchell Taylor who had been missing for a week.


Rescue hovercraft delivered

Fire crews given flood hovercraft
15 May 08 |  Gloucestershire
Body find in search for teenager
28 Jul 07 |  Gloucestershire


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