Lifeguards always face a real risk every time they’re faced with rescuing someone from drowning, especially when dealing with riptides. A new remote-controlled rescue buoy called EMILY could be a real lifesaver.
EMILY (Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard) was designed by Arizona-based Hydronalix (odd to be from a state that’s landlocked) and can supposedly be deployed in 30 seconds at a top speed of 24 mph (39 kph). Propelled by a jet ski style impeller, water is sucked through the front and shoots out the back. It’s also capable of flipping itself back over if capsized in rough surf.
Introduced this past summer to be beaches of Malibu, EMILY’s sonar helps locate movement underwater associated with swimmers in distress. The current model is operated by a lifeguard onshore EMILY’S camera and speakers allow a human shore-based lifeguard to calm and instruct the person to wait for human help or to hold on as EMILY brings him back to safety. Future versions promise to be fully automated.
EMILY currently retails for $3,500, which is admittedly less spendy than a jet ski, and with its lifesaving benefits, it may be one of the soundest investments coast-based lifeguards can make.