HURRICANE HARVEY: Evinrude provides boat and supplies

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BRP said its Evinrude brand has deployed equipment and resource support to the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Evinrude will match donations made by company employees to the American Red Cross, dollar for dollar.

“Boaters understand the awesome power of Mother Nature and are always some of the first to respond to those in need,” Olivier Pierini, Evinrude director of global marketing and strategic planning, said in a statement.

“This is why we are sending equipment and resources to the area affected by Hurricane Harvey. Our Evinrude E-TEC engine with Jet Series lower unit is ideal for maneuvering through debris-filled waters to help rescue personnel get where they need to go quickly and safely.”

When Harvey initially hit the Texas coast, employees at Evinrude in Wisconsin got to work building outboard motors during the weekend and finished up early Monday morning.

“We worked feverishly to build up some Evinrude engine models that we don’t even normally produce,” said Jeff Wasil, emissions certification and regulatory development manager at Evinrude, in an email to Trade Only. “We made up some pump-jet rescue outboard engines by mixing and matching various parts around engineering and production.”

Wasil explained that early Tuesday morning two Evinrude engineers, Ric McChesney and Jerry Oliver, who has been with the company for 51 years, left for the 21-hour drive to Texas.

An Evinrude sales representative who lives outside Houston coordinated with the local fire department in Hardin County, Texas.

McChesney and Oliver arrived with the boat and supplies, and within minutes the firefighters hooked up to it and headed out to deliver food and supplies to the local hospital, which was only accessible by boat.

In the same email Wasil said that as Oliver, who lived through Hurricane Andrew, got closer to the Houston area, he was stunned by what he saw.

“Listening to Jerry and Ric explain this on the phone to me moments after the fire department put the engine to use was very emotional, knowing how much the engine and boat were needed,” Wasil said.

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