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Daily Republican Register
Sept. 3, 2013
By Scott Allen

Why float down the Wabash River when you can float over it on a cushion of air?

That’s what a group of enthusiasts did Saturday on their hovercraft. In Vincennes for a larger gathering of the amphibious crafts, five groups decided to make their way south to Mt. Carmel.

The persistent low water levels and even the rapids at the old dam north of Mt. Carmel were no problem for the hovercraft, of course, as they skimmed right over everything.

The owner of Neoteric Hovercraft was among the group to make the journey. Chris Fitzgerald’s Terre Haute, Ind., company has delivered around 1,500 hovercraft to governments and other business clients all over the world since the 1970s.

Yet, the company has recently become all the rage because of a hovercraft golf cart he built for former Masters champion Bubba Watson. It’s been featured in a video gone viral on the internet, as well as a segment on the “Today” show.

Fitzgerald doesn’t expect anything more than a niche market for the [hovercraft golf cart] - especially with a $30,000 price tag — but is pleased with the buzz it generates for the company and its main product.

Capt. Mark Ellis of the Hazleton-White River Fire Department guided a hovercraft over the rapids at the old dam site on the Wabash River north of Mt. Carmel. He was demonstrating the flexibility a hovercraft provides in a rescue along this stretch of the river where no other type of boat can pass. The hovercraft was one of five to make a stop in Mt. Carmel on Saturday.

Meet Capt. Ellis and see his hovercraft in action:

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