GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A private company's donation will help improve water safety in the City of Gautier. Gulf LNG Energy is giving the city a 31-foot Zodiac rescue boat for the police and fire dive team.
City leaders gathered near a boat launch Thursday morning to dedicate the new rescue boat.
Gulf LNG Energy was looking for a local municipality that might benefit from this 1999 Zodiac Hurricane rescue craft.
"Today, we are proud to make this donation to a local city who can use it," said Brian Gilliland, with Gulf LNG.
The city's 13 member fire and police dive team will benefit from the vessel.
"Will give us the opportunity to do more things on the water. Provide additional safety to our citizens. We are proud to accept this from Gulf LNG," said Mayor Gordon Gollott.
If you're thinking the City of Gautier doesn't have that much water, think again. Counting the Mississippi Sound, the West Pascagoula River and various bayous and inlets, the city has more than 100 miles of waterfront.
"It's rare that a small department on limited budgets, like ourselves, get this opportunity to have a boat of this magnitude donated to a city. It's going to be instrumental in our dive operations, dive and rescue, here in the City of Gautier," said Police Chief Dante Elbin.
Dive team member Capt. Jerry Cooksey says the versatility of this rescue craft makes it suitable for a wide range of assignments on the water.
"People being stranded out of the boats. People in the water. Even to recovering evidence and drowning victims," said Cooksey.
"We'll be able to assist other agencies such as the DMR, the Coast Guard, the sheriff's department or whatever agency is requesting our assistance. It's a tremendous asset to us," said Elbin.