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18 April 2014

HTC grads rescue Texas hitchhiker tossed from bridge

Seeing Hovercraft Training Centers’ graduates in the news for their mud rescue operations is becoming a commonplace occurrence. First, the headlines abounded with the vital role they played in the Washington mudslide rescue and recovery efforts – and this week in Texas, Wylie Fire-Rescue hit the news for an out-of-the-ordinary mud rescue operation.

Wednesday night, 23-year-old Mario Otteson hitched a ride with a van full of teenage guys at a rest stop near Dallas. But he got far more than a ride! The teens stopped the van on the bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard, dragged Mario out, punched him several times, and then hurled him off the bridge into the lake.

But Mario didn’t land in water. Because of drought conditions, water levels are low and he sunk instead into thick mud and couldn’t escape. Luckily he had a cell phone and called 9-1-1. When the Dallas Police and Dallas Fire-Rescue couldn’t get him out of the mud, they knew to call someone who could: Wylie Fire-Rescue’s HTC-trained hovercraft pilots and their Neoteric Rescue HoverTrek™.

Wylie’s first responders quickly and easily flew their craft through the mire and extricated Mario, who fortunately suffered only a few scrapes but no serious injuries.

Here’s just another example of how important hovercraft and thorough training are to law enforcement and rescue agencies when they need to access areas that boats and even helicopters can’t reach. And we bet this is one hitchhiker who is now giving a real ‘thumbs up’ to HTC and Neoteric Hovercraft!

First Responders: Learn more about rescue hovercraft flight training


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