The Next Time You're Drowning, You'd Better Hope One of These Is Nearby

Dragging a body any distance is tough enough on land, much less while swimming. And the faster you land that person, the more likely you are to resuscitate him. Unfortunately, most conventional life-saving equipment is either slow moving, like kick-boards, or slow launching, like wave-runners. Hence, the Asap Water Rescue Craft.

The AWRC is based on conventional diver propulsion vehicles—with the exception that it is only used on the surface. Like other Diver Propulsion Vehicles, it consists of a solar-charged Li-Ion battery-powered electric motor that drives an enclosed propeller (of course it's enclosed, have you seen what those things do to manatees?) It's solar cells reside on the vehicle's deck, which also acts as a platform for storing the casualty while in transit. And, of course, the AWRC is neutrally buoyant.

DPV's were originally developed by the world's militaries for long journeys at a constant depth—to avoid the bends. The DPV has, of course, been converted for civilian use and is now often employed for moving bulky equipment while cave or technical diving.

The AWRC is designed for fast response and can be launched by a single lifeguard thanks to its fiberglass construction—compared to the two or three people needed to launch a wave-runner for the same task. It also allows the casualty—conscious or not—to travel with his head back and airway open. This helps the lifeguard monitor vitals and administer rescue breaths if necessary.

Also cool is the two-finger throttle that runs along the underside of the entire red handle. This allows the rescuer infinite hand hold options while minimizing the time required to get the casualty back to shore.

It is still in the prototype stages, but is expected to become a viable alternative—and half the price—of wave-runners for coastal drowning rescues.

[Design Buzz - Wikipedia]