The Navy From Panama City Has a Unique Way to Help Storm Victims

Two air cushion landing craft from the local Navy base may be involved in rescuing people from the New Orleans Superdome.

The air cushion boats, known as LCACs, left the Naval Support Activity in Panama City Beach Wednesday headed to Gulfport, Mississippi.

There, they will be loaded onto the USS Bataan for the trip to New Orleans.

The LCACs are also carrying water and other supplies donated to the hurricane victims by local businesses.

The unique air boats are 87 feet long, and 47 feet wide. They can reach 40 knots, and have a range of 200 nautical miles. However, it’s their ability to operate in shallow water that could be their biggest advantage. It allows them to get into the flooded crescent city:

Each LCAC carries a crew of five and the plans call for four of the vessels to be sent to the disaster area. They will be used for a variety of purposes, but their first mission will be to help evacuate storm victims who are stranded in the Louisiana Superdome.