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AB Inflatables building RIBs for Ganges expedition

AB Inflatables was selected to build three boats to carry the Ganges Expedition 2009 in September on a 1,550-mile exploration of the Ganges River on the Indian subcontintent to bring attention to the need for health care and the environmental needs of the river and people who live along it.

The three AB model AL-14 RIBs were built from the keel up for the expedition, and in a special bright orange with white trim to aid visibility.

Swiss boating expert Andy Leemann organized the expedition.

"We will be traveling downstream in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary, who in 1977 led a jetboat expedition, titled 'Ocean to Sky,' from the mouth of the Ganges River to its source," Leemann said in a statement.

The expedition will take about 30 days and is scheduled to begin in September, the end of the rainy season and the time of the year when the river carries a lot of water. Leemann expects the extra water will help when navigating the passages with rapids and sandbars.

The 19-man crew is interested in three sections of the river as its works its way down into the delta.

"While traveling the Ganges, we want to contribute to improving awareness along the river," Leemann said. "Health care and [the] environment are two of our main targets. In addition, our intention is to show the beauty of this holy river, through the involvement of journalists and media, to increase public awareness of the river and its problems."

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