Two new boats are ready to assist the Peru River Rescue teams in a variety of emergencies on the Illinois and Vermilion rivers.
The rescue team launched its new RescueOne connector boats with specialized capabilities Thursday.
Lt. Cmdr. Clint Kapinski said the team applied for American Rescue Plan Act funds through La Salle County last April and were granted $87,000 for both boats and the trailer.
Kapinski said the watercraft will replace the 20-year-old boats meant more for fishing than search-and-rescue.
The boats can support dive teams, assist in flood rescue and scan the rivers with specialized sonar.
Both boats are equipped with a “side scan sonar,” which allows the search-and-recovery team to scan the waterways quickly and will produce a detailed image.
“It can help locate objects – bodies, unfortunately – things like that, or we’ve used them in flood rescues as well, to be able to get people out of trailers and get them away to safety,” Secretary Tom Foust said.
Cmdr. Steve Hammerich said RescueOne connector boats are more professional and make the job easier.
The Peru Rescue team is looking for volunteers. For more information, visit the Peru Rescue Station at 1829 Water St. in Peru on the first Thursday of the month.