A Smart Tether for Raystown Region Search and Rescue

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Marklesburg VFD Purchases a KCF Smart Tether and VideoRay for Search and Rescue Missions

Oct. 17, 2013 (PRWEB) November 01, 2013 -- Up to 200 feet deep and 28 miles long, Raystown Lake’s 8,300 acres of water twist and coil like a trapped snake for 28 miles in Huntingdon County, and are the largest body of water in Pennsylvania. One August Saturday in 2012, 16-year-old Clay Bishop went missing there ― the first in a series of events that led Raystown Region search-and-rescue squads to buy a Smart Tether underwater navigation system and raise funds to acquire a VideoRay remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and other accessories.

Divers searched the area where Clay disappeared, but were repeatedly halted by hazardous conditions, ending in frustration that Sunday evening. “We found there is still standing timber in that part of the lake,” said Marklesburg Volunteer Fire Department President Brian Hunsicker, ”and fishing line and anchor ropes were tangled within the trees, making it like a giant spider web.”

However, the search resumed that Tuesday after VideoRay arrived on the scene with a pair of ROV systems, after having been notified of the situation by a member of KCF Technologies’ staff. Within an hour of VideoRay’s arrival, Clay’s body was found.

“The advantage to using VideoRay with the Smart Tether at this point [is that the] Marklesburg Fire Company has no dive team and has to rely on other nearby fire company dive teams. We feel we can put the [Smart Tether/Video Ray] system into operation prior to the dive team’s arrival on scene, and… can have a location,” Hunsicker added. “With the Smart Tether, we can plot the areas we have already searched so we can possibly eliminate searching the area again. Also, the [ROV] system has an unlimited run time where, with dive teams, the divers are limited to the amount of time diving and must rehab.”

To raise the funds for a VideoRay / Smart Tether system, the Marklesburg Volunteer Fire Company, Woodcock Valley Bible Church, and the Bishop Family established the Clay Bishop Memorial Fund. The fund was not only set up to help the fire department purchase a Smart Tether and VideoRay System, but also will fund water safety and rescue equipment and more training for divers.

As of September 2013, the Clay Bishop Memorial Fund has raised $90,604.08, two-thirds of its goal of $136,000. Hunsicker says the fund has received tremendous support from the public, through events being held by Clay’s classmates, local churches, and other organizations.

“We are very pleased to be able to support the search and rescue teams that serve Raystown Lake,” said KCF Technologies President Dr. Jeremy Frank. “The Smart Tether and VideoRay ROV have proved valuable in many other search and recovery missions, and it is our hope that the combination continues to be a valuable asset for the Marklesburg Fire Department and other Raystown Region first responders.”

KCF Technologies is a dynamic technology company that develops and commercializes embedded intelligence solutions for industry and the military. The company vision is to be a leader in the development of federally-funded technologies and bridge the gap to successful commercial products by establishing strategic partnerships.

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David Shannon
KCF Technologies
since: 03/2011
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