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Inventor Creates Flotation Device Bazooka 144 144

Australian inventor Sam Adeloju has won the £20,000 ($32,000) James Dyson Award for inventing the coolest piece of life-saving equipment ever. The Longreach is a modified bazooka which can fire an expanding flotation device up to 150m to a person in distress. From the article: "Mr Adeloju told NEWS.com.au that the Longreach was inspired by a grenade-launch training session with the Army Reserves. Weighing just 3.5kg, it shoots the rescue device 150m in a manner similar to the way the army uses a grenade launcher to deliver flares and aerial observation devices. Hitting the water activates an expanding foam unit in the Longreach rescue unit, which also incorporates LED illumination and a vortex air whistle."

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Inventor Creates Flotation Device Bazooka

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  • Projectile? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Reilaos (1544173) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:38PM (#33812534) Homepage

    "Hitting the water activates an expanding foam unit..."

    What about hitting a drowning human?

  • Er.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by iONiUM (530420) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:39PM (#33812558) Homepage Journal

    So uh, what happens when your aim is a little too good, and you beam someone in the water with this 3.5kg thing? It's hard to swim when you're unconscious..

  • by blair1q (305137) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:43PM (#33812666) Journal

    So someone 60m from the boat will only have to swim another 90m away from the boat to get their floatie, when the jackass firing the thing misreads the directions.

    And then there's the chance someone will just toss the whole unit into the drink, thinking it's the flotation device.

    Here's my invention: in situations where people are likely to go overboard, require them to wear flotation vests.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @01:55PM (#33813054)
    What do you not understand about "up to" 150m? If you fire it into the water it's not going to go much farther.
  • Re:Er.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by loafula (1080631) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @02:24PM (#33813788)
    If I'd have to make a wager, I'd say the risk of hitting a person in the head with the projectile is much less than the risk of that person having to swim 150m through rough seas to get to a raft dropped off the side of a boat.
  • by qc_dk (734452) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @04:57PM (#33816580)

    I've a reasonable fraction of my life along the northwestern coast of Denmark, which has some very tricky beaches. The most dangerous places can be those without waves, especially if it's windy. An area with no waves in strong winds is a sign of very strong undertows. The locals learn to read the waves, but tourist think "what a lovely calm piece of water, I'll swim there". They then get dragged out to sea, and even the strongest swimmers can't fight the currents. Many drown not from being overwhelmed by waves but from exhaustion fighting the currents. A flotation device would be perfect in those cases. They'll be able to keep themselves afloat and much easier to spot and retrieve by boat or helicopter, because there is no way anyone sane would be swimming out after them.

  • Re:It needs... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Obfuscant (592200) on Wednesday October 06, 2010 @06:44PM (#33818018)
    Generally laser target designators use infrared wavelengths.

    Infrared lasers can blind you, too, and since you can't see the infrared you don't have the normal blink reflex to protect you.

    Apparently this is a problem with some (many) of the newer green laser pointers that operate by doubling an IR laser to get to green.

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