Escape boats will get you out of Manhattan during disaster...for a price

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Tim Fleischer has the story

New York City is a top target for terrorism and could also be prone to natural disasters or massive power outages -- all things that have occurred previously. But a large-scale evacuation is no easy task.

"We have an island that we are stuck on," Plan B Marine co-partner Chris Dowhie said. "There is really no fast way off."

That's why some are turning to Dowhie's organization, a unique maritime evacuation service that utilizes Coast Guard Class 25-foot boats capable of carrying up to 10 people.

"Mobs of people are just walking across bridges," Dowhie said. "And it's not a good solution to get off quickly."

The company provides and maintains the boats, which are rented to clients. But at a cost of $7,500 a month, the service is sought after by individuals with unique needs and concerns.

"We know it's a high-net worth company or individual," Dowhie said. "We have one family that has children in college uptown, and they wanted their kids to get over to Jersey where they live. And they got together with another family and took out a boat."

In a time of crisis, when roads and bridges might become clogged with people fleeing Manhattan, companies and banks are finding that over water could be the best way to reach their other sites.

"Their security departments are looking for ways of keeping their employees safe, ways to evacuate," Dowhie said. "They are interested in business continuity, keeping the business up and running."

Plan B Marine is able to buy the fast and nimble boats from the Coast Guard as they are phased out. Dowhie currently has about a dozen that are docked at private marinas around Manhattan, and there is no waiting for a captain.

"It's best you know how to use it," Dowhie said. "You have the code to operate it, and you are self sufficient...We will train you. You don't have to worry about banging it into the dock. You just leave it there when you are done, and we will come and get it."

It adds another means of escape for those who can afford it.

Related Topics:
businessevacuationhurricanepower outageterrorismNew York City
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