The Orange County Sheriff’s Office recently took delivery of its newest addition to their fleet; an airboat designed and built in Orange by American Airboat Corp. 

During the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, search and rescue efforts were sometimes difficult due to the location of individuals that needed assistance. The county had to rely on boats and equipment from other entities and the private sector.  

Sheriff Merritt, who was constable of Precinct 1 at the time, realized the need for an airboat to perform search and rescue missions and other operations in the areas not accessible by any other type vehicle. 

Airboats are capable of travelling on land and water and will make it easier to reach unaccessable areas. 

Merritt is a certified airboat operator. Classes will be held in the near future to train additional personnel in the operation of the airboat.
The vehicle was purchased with drug seizure funds, at no cost to Orange County taxpayers.