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.
IBC is always there when you need them, this morning IBC sent Mike out on the water at 0400 to rendezvous at the Portland Fire dock with The Human Access Project and KOIN Channel 6. The Morning’s mission was simple, take out V.I.P.s to get media coverage for an upcoming event on the Willamette River and to announce the opening of Portland’s first public access beach downtown known as “Poet’s Beach”.
Everyone marveled at the Zodiac Bombard Commando’s ability to be a stable platform that carries a tremendous amount of cargo for it’s size. It’s the most requested boat for filming because it handles any water any time.
Summer time means we are always out on the water in some fashion supporting a cause, doing rescue training or just having fun. If you’ve ever wondered about an inflatable boat there’s no time like the present to get started with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales staff.
Give The Inflatable Boat Center a call today and start your own adventure.
Check out the 2014 Big Float pics held in downtown Portland Oregon.
IBC pilots Adam and Mike were on hand to transfer V.I.P.s, bands, and equipment, as well as provide water safety over-watch for the event. Portland Police, Sheriff, and Fire, along with the USCG were on hand to provide assistance to floaters as they made their way down the course. Navigating thru the many thousands of floaters was tight and required a steady hand and a stable boat which showcased some of the many strengths of the Bombard Commando and Zodiac Futura in use by the IBC Pilots. (thanks Adam and Mike!)
Enjoy the pics below captured at different parts of the day by the IBC Pilots as well as the Oregonian link and City Commissioner’s tweet.