Couple donates high-tech, versatile Quadski to police department

Steve Stefanides

The vehicle may remind you of something out of a James Bond movie, but one of the newest tools available to emergency response teams on the island should definitely turn some heads.

The police department’s Quadski will be put into service when officers have completed training on the land/sea vehicle.

A local family’s donation of a 2015 Gibbs Quadski should lend some additional access to areas on the island that have been difficult to reach, particularly for responses during hurricanes and high water.

The Quadski has the capabilities of a land vehicle, coupled the advantages of a personal watercraft.

“The Quadski gives us the capability to work on the land and when driven into the water you can retract the wheels for storage and rely upon a jet-drive to propel the unit on the water,” said administrative Capt. Dave Baer. “We’ve had ATVs deployed for use and we have used PWC units in our operations here for many years. This just gives us the opportunity to fold those assets and capabilities into one unit.”

The donation of the unit came about due to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Battaglia, who own the Rockland Bakery in New York and also have a home on Marco Island.

“They came to us with this generous offer to provide the community with this great asset,” said Police Chief Al Schettino. “It was just a wonderful offer on their part and the city is so grateful for their kindness in making this a reality.”

Quadski amphibians are considered cutting-edge automotive and marine devices with a lightweight composite hull, a unique water jet / suspension system — while powered by a BMW K1300 engines. It will have the capability of running 40 mph on both the land and the water.

Because of its unique nature of the equipment, members of the department have been training on the unit in the Big Cypress National Preserve.

“The federal rangers have been very cooperative in helping to make some excellent training available to our personnel, while allowing our people to become familiar with the unit’s operation and capabilities,” said Capt. Nick Ojanovac.

The unit should be deployed within the next 60 days or when training is completed for department personnel, police said.