SHAKOPEE (swnewsmedia/Jordan Independent) – The Scott County Sheriff’s Office was recently awarded $61,705 through the U.S. Coast Guard Federal Boating Safety Equipment Grant administered by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, according to a news release. The grant funded the purchase of a patrol boat, a new jet motor, a small inflatable boat, and 10 new navigational buoys.
The patrol boat is a 2020 18-foot Mako center console boat and is equipped with side scan capabilities to assist in search and rescue operations along with police lights, radio and siren, the news release said. This boat is replacing a 2011 Lund which was showing its age and beginning to need costly repairs. This new boat will allow deputies to have a safer stable platform on the water during rough conditions due to its design for offshore boating.
The second boat is a 2020 inflatable Zodiac Cadet, which is light enough for two people to carry to a pond/lake where a normal-sized boat could not be launched, the release said.
The new jet motor was mounted on the office’s Jon Boat, which is most often used for river search and rescue operations. It will allow deputies to maneuver in shallow water with ease and reduce the dangers associated with hitting a propeller on debris in the water.
The buoys purchased this year will be used to replace aging buoys that are nearing the end of their service life.
“This grant money will allow us to replace aging equipment and expand the abilities of the Sheriff’s Office to respond to emergencies and keep residents safe on the water,” Sheriff Luke Hennen siad in a statement. “Also, the timing of the acquisition of the Zodiac couldn’t have been better as it was used to rescue four stranded children from a flooded river trail.”
On June 30, 2020, four boys, all age 13, were fishing off the riverbank in St. Lawrence Township. Around 9 p.m., they realized the river had risen considerably due to the recent heavy rainfall and the trail back to the parking lot was completely flooded. They telephoned one boy’s mother who was waiting in the parking lot to pick them up and she dialed 911 to get help for the stranded children.
While deputies were en route, 911 dispatch was able to get a phone ping, which showed the location of the boys. The Belle Plaine and Jordan fire departments were called to assist, using their side-by-side and amphibious ATVs to haul the sheriff’s office’s inflatable Zodiac boat closer to the children. Deputies were able to row the Zodiac across the flooded area to the boys and returned them to their parents safely.