Fletcher receives airboat for upcoming training course

Fletcher Technical Community College recently received an airboat donated by ConocoPhillips. The 15-foot Ronnie’s Aluminum Airboat will be used for Fletcher’s upcoming Airboat Training class.

“We would like to thank ConocoPhillips for generously providing an airboat to Fletcher Technical Community College,” Fletcher Chancellor Dr. Kristine Strickland said. “This new asset will allow us to provide training and certifications in airboat operations. We know that this is critical training for individuals who work in our region, and we are excited and grateful for the opportunity to move this program forward through the generosity of ConocoPhillips.”

Nomenclature, safety concerns, common malfunctions and basic operations of airboats will be covered in the upcoming 5-day, 40-hour Airboat Training course at the college. The course will also cover operational hazards, weather considerations, safety — including First Aid/CPR certification — dangers, night operations, maintenance and field repairs.

Applicants for the program must be 18 years old or older and have a boating license with no violations in the last 12 months. Applicants are also required to have experience operating an outboard boat and a willingness to work in adverse and inclement weather conditions.

“As the largest private wetlands owner in the state and in the country, we believe in partnering with organizations that share our commitment to protecting Louisiana’s coast,” ConocoPhillips Coastal Wetlands Director John Harrington said. “Dr. Strickland and her staff are expertly crafting curriculum designed to prepare the workforce with skills unique to Louisiana’s coast. Fletcher’s Airboat Training Class and Coastal Workforce Training Program are proof of that. We hope this airboat donation helps students experience the wetlands in a new way and instills passion to protect it.”