The 24-foot boat was custom made for the county and will serve as both a rescue and patrol boat, primarily on the Ohio River and also at East Fork Lake.
“I am very pleased,” Sheriff Tim Rodenberg said about the new boat. “This is the nicest boat we’ve had.”
Sheriff Rodenberg said the Ohio River runs along nearly 25 miles of Clermont County land, and this is the first boat the sheriff’s office has owned that is suitable for river rescue.
The 24-foot rescue boat was made by Metal Shark Aluminum Boat Company in Jeanerette, La.
Sheriff Rodenberg said the company is a boat contractor for the United States Coast Guard and United States military branches.
“It was built to Coast Guard specs,” Sheriff Rodenberg said. “It took several months to build.”
Sheriff Rodenberg said several people, including Otto Huber, fire chief for Loveland Symmes Fire Department, were involved in acquiring the $123,071 boat without using any county money.
Chief Huber said the boat was funded by a port authority grant program, which is provided to organizations within the Cincinnati area to protect the ports along the Ohio River.
“One-hundred percent was funded federally,” he said about the boat.
Chief Huber said because the county has power plants and a dam along the Ohio River, county officials are required to patrol and protect the waterways.
He said the boat is named Task Force One because the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office is part of a multi-county law enforcement collaboration with Brown, Butler, Warren, Hamilton counties and more.
“All share in that, all share assets and resources,” Chief Huber said.
Sheriff Rodenberg and Chief Huber launched the boat for the first time in the Ohio River July 12 at the Augusta Street boat launch and took it for a drive alongside the banks of the village of New Richmond.
Sheriff Rodenberg said they cruised at around 40-50 miles per hour, and the boat can go up to about 65 miles per hour.
After launching the boat, officials removed it from the water, however, Chief Huber said the long-term plan is to keep the boat at Schmidt Field near Kellogg Avenue once docks are built.
“It will be a lot quicker,” Huber said about accessing and using the boat.