Navy orders Super Jet Skis to be built at Maine shipyard

6:00 PM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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BATH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - One of the U.S. Military's newest tools was put through its paces Tuesday in Bath.

It's not one of the big Navy ships... but something much smaller.

The Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft (GARC) is a high-tech version of a jet ski and was designed for the Air Force to rescue downed pilots at sea.

Hodgdon Defense Composites of Bath is building the ships for the Air Force.

"The innovation and product development of these little boats is remarkable," says HDC President Tim Hodgdon. He was alluding to features like the boats' ability to be dropped from an airplane for a water rescue.

Senator Susan Collins joined workers to christen the new boat and celebrate the project. She not only got to ride the boat, but was allowed to take the helm for a bit.

"I don't think you could turn it over," she beamed afterward, "Very stable, zippy, turns very easily. The Navy Seals and all the special forces are going to love it."

Collins also said she'd love to have one at her camp. Although her neighbors might complain: the thing is able to go nearly 50 miles an hour.

The boat she rode is the third of five originally contracted with the Air Force. But now the Air National Guard is interested, ordering 16 of the boats which will all be built at the Hodgdon facility in Bath.

NEWS CENTER

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