The Wichita Fire Department took their newest boat on its maiden voyage Friday afternoon.
The new zodiac boat will help the technical rescue team with water rescues.
“During these kinds of times, we worry about people thinking they can walk across the Big Ditch or they want to get in the river. We’ve had kayakers lost,” fire marshal Stu Bevis said.
Recent rain and flooding caused the Arkansas River to rise. Wind gusts move the currents quickly downstream.
“People underestimate the power of what water can do and that’s when they usually get in trouble. Because they think, ‘Oh I can swim fine,’ whether that’s in a pool or a pond or a lake but once you get into a moving body of water, all bets are off,” Bevis said.