SAR Kit: LONGREACH Buoyancy Deployment System

5 10 2010

The Longreach Buoyancy Deployment System has just won the James Dyson Award. Its dull name rather obscures just how cool it is. The Longreach is a bazooka that fires life-belts up to 500-feet, targeting drowning-victims and saving their lives.

Using the Longreach, a rescuer can remain safely on ship or shore and deploy multiple life-belts at the press of a button. The “Rescue Packages” are made from expandable foam, and stay in fireable bullet shapes until they hit the water, whereupon they puff up into a circular buoyancy aid with a gap at one side. The resulting device also has lights so rescuers can find you in the dark.

The system is designed to be small and reliable, and as foam is used instead of inflateable tubes, puncturing at any stage is impossible. The launcher also comes equipped with flares so the operator can light up the night to better target victims. The Longreach is about to go into field tests with Surf Life Saving NSW, Australia.

The James Dyson Award, run by the inventor of the see-through vacuum-cleaner, was created to “encourage and inspire the next generation of design engineers.” It also has an insanely simple, and yet extremely difficult brief: “Design something that solves a problem.” The Longreach certainly does that.

LONGREACH Buoyancy Deployment System [James Dyson Award]

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