Lars Larson

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Lars Larson

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It's a different kind of target practice; Columbia County deputies firing dozens of rounds in the sides and bottom of a boat to see if the bullet holes will cause it to sink. The boat, designed by the Tigard company “HIT” or  "High Impact Technology", is pummeled but takes on no water. Russ Monk says his "Zumo" boat is designed for water rescue and gear hauling. It’s treated with a special material called "battle jacket."  The slugs stick in the material or pass right through it, the holes quickly closing. “Every cubic foot of the boat has over a million air bubbles in it. So if they get popped, it really doesn’t hurt it any.” Monk says pontoon boats used for Hurricane Katrina emergency response were easily disabled by barbed wire, mailboxes and scrap metal under water. HIT hopes to begin production on the line of "Zumos" early next year. Small community search and rescue teams are their ideal customers. The boats will cost $16,000 to $20,000 each.

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