Well another year and another Big Float goes into the books. This year’s Big Float was one of the biggest yet with over 3000 Portlanders taking to the Willamette River to float in the hot July sun. The Inflatable Boat Center was there providing safety, media, and V.I.P. services to The Big Float and helping to foster community awareness for Portland’s most maligned waterway.
Weekly water testing of the Willamette River shows that is safe to swim in despite the Willamette’s bad rap as a “Super Fund Site”. City representatives, local news and thousands of Portlanders got the message and put in at the newly created “Poet’s Beach” to float to Tom Mccall Waterfront Park and the big after float party.
IBC‘s role is simple in these events, make sure floaters and boaters are obeying the safety guidelines/rules set forth and to provide assistance where necessary in the area of operation. IBC fielded the Zodiac Bombard C4R for this task rigged with a Tohatsu TLDI 40hp two stroke outboard for immediate power and speed when required.
Navigating thru thousands of floaters while under power takes some skill and also some precautions such as a properly functioning safety lanyard and a Prop Guard to prevent potential prop strikes to swimmers in the water. These simple lessons learned employed for the mission at hand made everyone involved rest a bit easier in an otherwise very high stress operating environment. These added safety features are no substitute for keeping a proper watch, and operating at a safe speed around swimmers/floaters. IBC is all about safety and proper boating practices.
Thankfully the day’s event went off without a hitch and IBC conducted their mission flawlessly with the Zodiac Bombard Commando C4R taking all situations in stride. Where other boat types couldn’t carry the weight of the gear or the passengers the Bombard Commando took it all and asked for more. The inflatable boat can carry much more cargo and passengers safely than traditional boats.
Enjoy some pics of The Big Float from IBC’s Mike below.