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Tour company disrespected airboaters in New Orleans


Well-known member
OK folks, I’ve had a week to cool my jets off about this so I’m writing in an advanced state of calmness…. (er, well, for me it is anyway..)

Myself and Sniper represented the Florida Airboaters at the New Orleans “Procession� on Sept. 29. We were made very aware that this was a procession type of event during the Monday evening meeting, and we were ask to conduct ourselves accordantly.. (i.e. formal and with dignity)

Alas, on the day of the procession, our airboat was properly in line when along came two airboats from Arthur’s Airboat Tours (who were also at the Monday evening meeting) and proceeded to pass us and get in line where they wanted, NOT where the airboats were ask to be.. And it went quickly down hill from there!!!
As they passed us, we noticed that one of their airboats was brand new, (it sure wasn’t in New Orleans helping last year) and the other was a large tour boat. What both of them had in common were VERY large (and brand new) signs affixed to each side of their airboats advertising Arthur’s Airboat Tours!! I’m not talking a small logo on a rudder, I’m talking large banners affixed to a hastily jury rigged PVC pipe framework that were about 6’ long… They weren’t there as airboaters who’d helped, they were there to take advantage of the situation and blatantly advertise their company…

I walked up to the guy and mentioned that maybe advertising their company wasn’t in the best interest of why we were there, and I was promptly told where to go…..
Then, the procession coordinator ask them to remove the signs, and was told to go to H***..
Next in line, the procession director ask them to remove the signs, and was also told where to go..
So, now comes a New Orleans Policeman who ask them to remove the signs, and after much adoo, they complied by removing ONE sign. And promptly putting it back on as soon as the procession started…

But wait, there’s more… To make sure that everyone really remembered who had the green tour airboat with the big banners on it, they even passed out brochures to anyone who’d take one along the procession route...

But wait, there’s even more… (this is almost getting fun to write) the operator in the new airboat must have figured that the people of New Orleans needed to hear what a big block sounded like when it was running, so he fired it up!!!! With people lined up less that 15’ away (on both sides) this circus ambassador fired up an airboat and left it running for blocks at a time!!! Am I the only one to see the inherent danger in this?? (i.e. parts break, spinning blades, etc….)

I cannot stress how embarrassed (and I might add pissed, too) myself and Sniper felt at realizing that these “people� were not there to represent the rescue airboaters, but to push their own agenda….. And how that reflected on ALL of us as airboaters.. Think about it..

Sorry this is so long but I felt it needed to be said. If I’m out of line, I’m sure I’ll hear about it… Thanks.

Proud to be an airboater and proud to be associated with the folks of Southern Airboat..
Glad to hear you went to represent those who earned the kudos!!! Don't worry, IMO you did the smart thing by cooling off and writing a well thought post...right on!!

The story of the tour boat kind of reminds me of another group that rushed in to take credit in the aftermath of rescue efforts in New Orleans....

Boy I can't hardly wait until we get together again so that I can hear THE REST OF THE STORY.......
Thanks for the post Bigkavr. We know why you were there and are proud you were.

There will always be people who try to take unfair advantage of a situation. I am really surprised the Police didn't return and toss these guys out of the parade.

My thought about the danger of a running airboat in a prcession is the danger of some small kid rinning up and losing a hand or worse. The younger ones don't always do what they are told. Obviously neither do some adults.

Great post, thanks for sharing the info with us. We know who NOT to use if we visit Nawlins now.

Brian and Sniper, you both have my understanding and regret for how a lot of these 'Tribute' things can go sour in a heartbeat. Look at all of the commercialization of 9-11 now ..... a movie, documentaries, interviews. It makes me sick.

You both and dozens of others went for the right reasons, and you all proved all of the right things to anyone who has half a brain. The airboat community is grateful, as are the hundreds of others whose lives you touched.

Be content with your accomplishments and turn the page. They'll need you again one of these days and you have a better picture now of how this can all get twisted around once the players and the politicians get hold of it.

We're proud of all of ya.

Big K / Sniper,

Don't worry about how those jackholes acted.
I know they made an embarressing display, and even dangerous.
Don't let that ruin it for y'all.

The lives you touched by the sacrafices y'all made to got there, well.... that's something nobody can every change.

Folks will probably never know the full extent of what you, and other airboat rescuers achieved in those endeavors.

Perhaps there was a child in the crowd saying "look mommy, there they are!"

Like Olf said, we are all proud of ya.

But no where near as proud as y'all should be of yourselves.

Glad y'all had your day of recognition.

Revel in it.
Thanks for being there and representing us. I am sure people there knew in their heart of hearts what kind of people the others were. Thanks again for being there.
You know, you can't force class on a classless b*stard. He definitely was not raised with any kind of manners or respect.

No wonder everyone thinks airboaters are a-holes. :evil:
I think that you guys that was able to go there and help the people in need are awsome. Taking the time away from family and everyday life risk your lives. You guys are #1 in mine and my familys book.
Exactly where is aholes airboat tours located? Maybe we could throw them some "business". I would relish it. Best, Charles
Hey Fatboy you Don't even know how close I came to badgeing that guy and letting New Orleans finest hall him off,all I got to say is that it's a good thing he did not get in Brians face,let's just say that Brian is not a small man he's about 6"7 and has the weight to go with it and the guy that was stiring up all the problems was about 5" 5 IT WOULD NOT HAVE LASTED LONG and it would have been intertaining.
Brian, Sniper-

Heard the story. It's the few like that that make the finer airboaters look bad.
Glad ya'll were there and glad we were able to help ya'll attend. Too bad there was not greater attendance from the airboat folks who went. Maybe we will work on an invite from the Mardi Gras crews for the festival & see if that goes anywhere............