Originally Posted by malthouse
If you say so, bit they do seem a popular choice and no one has sent one back.
Here are some examples of various shapes, sizes and hardnesses. All being used for just this sort of thing:
Look a little closer...I used to be search manager with SARA, the inflatables are NOT used in flood swiftwater situations. Chepstow operate a hard plastic Jeanneau, Sharpness operate an aluminium craft. The former Upton station operated a rigid plastic inflatable - looked like a rib but the tubes were actually like water mains pipes (same as SARA 8 at Wyre Forest, it may look inflatable but it ain't).
As for no-one sending them back, maybe not, but I can quote you a couple of brigades who didn't send it back cos it's at the bottom of something, and you will find that whilst they may be retained on the fleet, tasking is different. Inflatables are fine for still or slow moving water, where you know where the hazards are and can take avoiding action in good time.
If you look in the States, where the whole Swiftwater discipline grew up, you'll find very few inflatables in use in urban or unpredictable situations.