Hempstead County Sheriff James Singleton
put the County’s new Rescue boat into service last week.
The 2012, 17 ½ foot aluminum boat was
custom built for Hempstead County Sheriff’s Office by Legend Craft and designed
and purchased from Rothwell Marine of Hope, Arkansas.
It Is equipped with a 60 horse power
Mercury outboard motor a Hummingbird side scan sonar, GPS, front, rear, and
side LED observation spot lights, PA System, Siren, Emergency lights, 17 ½ foot
Diamond trailer, two pontoons in the rear for easy access from the water and a
The boat was paid for with a
$17,775.00 grant from Homeland Security
through the Office of Emergency Services.
The boat will be used for search and
rescue and patrolling the 13.9 miles of Lake Millwood that is in Hempstead
Another $18,000.00 dollar grant will pay
to train and certify several divers. The Divers all volunteers will be made up
of Firemen from several of the rural fire departments in the county, Fulltime
and Reserve Deputies, and a couple of Hope Police Officers. Upon completion of
the Dive Training they will be certified as Rescue Divers.
The Boat has a state of the art sonar
system and GPS, the side scan sonar will enable Deputies to not only see what is
directly beneath them it will also enable them to see underwater on each side
and to the rear of the boat. The GPS will let the Deputies plot coordinates and
mark areas to be search and areas already searched. The lights in the front,
rear, and side are LED so they will not pull as much power
From the battery allowing for longer
lighting at night. The boat will also be
equipped with county and AWIN radios to allow communication with other
This project has been in the works for
about two years and would not have been possible without the help of our County
OES Coordinator Jessica Hardin who helped us apply and get the Grants for this
equipment and training. This will be a
valuable asset to the County for a long time to come.
Along with the Boat we applied to the
Defense Reutilization Program and received a 1987 Military HUMVEE to be used in
Search and Rescue operations. The Sheriff’s office was able to obtain the
vehicle at a cost of $292.00 (Two Hundred Ninety Two Dollars). It will also be
used to tow the boat.