The Decorah Fire Department now boasts a new river rescue boat.

According to Zach Kerndt, department driver/engineer/drone pilot, pictured, the new vessel can take on many water response situations that were difficult in the past. The boat is able to respond to locations traditional watercraft are unable to reach. The new unit is fabricated of aluminum construction, and can maneuver in shallow or variable depth waters thanks to the jet drive outboard motor (no propeller to get caught in underwater obstructions). The navigation equipment and other on-board gear are designed to add to the performance features of the department’s new boat.

More than $42,000 in funds were raised at a fundraiser earlier this year at Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah. The boat was first deployed last week to help in a late-night river search on the dark waters of the Upper Iowa River. Last summer, the department was involved in nearly 10 river rescues.