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Inventor Creates Flotation Device Bazooka

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the point-shoot-and-save dept.

Australia 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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Projectile? (3, Insightful)

Reilaos (1544173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812534)

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

What about hitting a drowning human?

Re:Projectile? (5, Funny)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812576)

you'll be delighted to know that the impacted human will not have drowning as their cause of death

Re:Projectile? (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812588)

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

What about hitting a drowning human?

The unit will still expand upon impact.

Why? Is that a concern?

Re:Projectile? (5, Funny)

Farmer Tim (530755) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812830)

What about hitting a drowning human?

Not as easy as hitting the water, but worth more points.

Re:Projectile? (2, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813380)

What about hitting a drowning human?

Oh, it's not so hard. You just don't lead them as much.
- Gunner, Full Metal Jacket

Re:Projectile? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815114)

A "BONK!" graphic appears above their head, at which point you may opt to say "DOOOWN TOWN!" in your best Brooklyn accent.

(Sorry, been playing a lot of TF2 lately...)

Re:Projectile? (4, Funny)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815118)

When the first one hits the water and inflates, you can use it as a shield.

Sailor1:"Damn, I missed."
Sailor2:"Shoot him again."
Sailor1:"This isn't a video game, I'm trying to save the guy."
Sailor2:"You'd better hurry, he's gonna camp behind the first one."
Sailor1: *foomp*

Re:Projectile? (1)

Wraithlyn (133796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815236)

Well clearly it wouldn't expand then. Can't you read?

Er.. (3, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812558)

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..

Re:Er.. (3, Informative)

Faatal (1907534) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812700)

Probably takes some training to be good at shooting it accurately. For example I worked as a lifeguard for several summers when I was in high school. When we threw rescue tubes (those red foam things), we were taught to always overthrow the target and then pull the tube back toward the victim so they can latch on easily.

Re:Er.. (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815786)

"Probably takes some training to be good at shooting it accurately."

It's a fucking T-shirt cannon, how hard can it be?

Re:Er.. (1)

rakuen (1230808) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813584)

From my understanding, the launcher is 3.5 kg, which means the buoy it's firing probably weighs less than that. It'd still be a problem, but it'd certainly hurt less.

Re:Er.. (4, Insightful)

loafula (1080631) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Er.. (1)

nuckfuts (690967) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813920)

I read it as the entire device (launcher and projectile) weighing 3.5 kg, not the projectile itself.

The verb you are looking for is "bean" not "beam" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33815914)

The more you know...

Up to 150m you say? (2, Insightful)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812666)

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.

Re:Up to 150m you say? (3, Informative)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812932)

See, the problem with your invention is that it doesn't involve shooting a floaty-grenade launcher. Back to the drawing board with you!

;-)

Re:Up to 150m you say? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813912)

You've already gotten to yell "Man Overboard!" what more do you need?

Re:Up to 150m you say? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Up to 150m you say? (1, Offtopic)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813936)

Are you Insane??

Require them to wear life saving gear??!?!

Actually, current safety gear for a motorcycle, if worn by the driver can walk away with only minor bruises from a 100mph crash. Unfortunately most Motorcycle riders are too stupid to buy and use said gear.
I get a kick out of the complete morons riding their crotch rocket in flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt... They advertise to the world "I AM A COMPLETE IDIOT" even a 1 Gram insect at highway speeds will knock the wind out of you and leave a bruise the size of a tennisball.

Disclaimer: I Ride, I ride a LOT, I'm just not stupid and ride without safety gear. It's a choice I make. and I support the choice of the idiots that choose not to, IT means I get to buy their bike for parts from their next of kin for almost nothing.

Re:Up to 150m you say? (2, Funny)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814084)

Actually, current safety gear for a motorcycle, if worn by the driver can walk away with only minor bruises from a 100mph crash. Unfortunately most Motorcycle riders are too stupid to buy and use said gear.

This "safety gear" you refer to is called a "car".

Re:Up to 150m you say? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814262)

Yes, because a car renders you completely invulnerable.
Thinking like that is why people like us should always wear gear.

Re:Up to 150m you say? (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814972)

Uh how did you come to such a conclusion from his post? Maybe you should have used a better helmet ;).

His post was in reply to someone claiming that motorcycle safety gear can allow drivers to "walk away with only minor bruises from a 100mph crash".

Which is harder to achieve than with a "car" scenario.

From what I see the main reason why motorcycle riders in official races walk away after crashes and the ones on the street don't is because on a certified race circuit when "stuff happens" riders usually get to slide a great distance without anything impaling or dismembering or squishing them.

In contrast on the street, all that fancy bike gear isn't going to save you if you smack into a tree or vehicle at 100mph. Or a truck rolls over you.

Most normal cars don't do well against a fair sized tree at such speeds.

So it'll be very very impressive to see a bike suit that can effectively protect a rider in such scenarios. I'm not sure if that "inflatable airbag" suit thing would be significantly better in this case. Better perhaps, but good enough?

Re:Up to 150m you say? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815974)

at 100 mph the car becomes your killer. it rolls and instead of being a nice little roller skate it's a lumpy mass of razor blades.

you're right about bike accidents at 100 mph at the track; and anything at the track that could be unyielding at those speeds is buried in straw or tires or foam

if full body armor was actuarily significant street accidents, you'd see motorcycle cops wearing it

Re:Up to 150m you say? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815368)

A) Launch a second one if you miss.
B) This is for people trained to use.
C) In some some seas, a simple life jacket isn't enough.
D) What cruise line is going to make all their passengers wear a life jacket all the time?
E) What about beach goers?
F) Giving someone in a bad water situation something to hold onto with their hands makes it easier for a rescue person to control the person.

It is a good idea, you just seem to gt self fulfillment from making bullshit reason why something is bad. You are being a sad human being.

Scrubs, anyone? (4, Funny)

Dan Dankleton (1898312) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812668)

A floatation device bazooka sounds like something that The Janitor from Scrubs would create

+1 Funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814608)

Where's my mod points when I need them?

Re:Scrubs, anyone? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33816954)

I don't think it could coexist very well with the KnifeWrench.

200 year old technology (5, Interesting)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812670)

That tech is about 200 years old. No kidding. 1st documented rescue rocket rescue 18 February 1808.

http://members.iinet.net.au/~dodd/gail/publications/trengrouse/Essay.html [iinet.net.au]

No no... not the same... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813082)

This one you use to rocket jump your way out of the water!

that's a leader line (1)

YesIAmAScript (886271) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813976)

The device described just runs out a leader line and you then come out in a boat on that line hand over hand.

This is a device that lets you shoot a life preserver out and the person saves himself.

In addition, this is designed to be shot to a person, not to the deck of a ship.

So they're in the same family I guess, but this is not the same. I doubt this one is really the first of its kind either, but the most important thing is that it work well and become available. Let's hope for the best.

Re:that's a leader line (1)

enjerth (892959) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817408)

Modernization is all about making things smaller and more expensive.

Re:that's a leader line (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33817498)

Like the half-gallon ice cream is now 1.5 quarts and costs 20% more than it did 3 years ago.

Re:200 year old technology (1)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814134)

THIS is why I love slashdot. It "just happened" that some user knew there was already somebody using freaking rockets for maritime rescue. AND has a link well prepared for people who aren't ready to dig through 200 years old diaries they can't access anyway, with nice pictures to boot.
Thank you!

Re:200 year old technology (1)

ginbot462 (626023) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814342)

Yea it's a dupe. I read it on slashdot back then too. Course then we called "Ye Bellman Boarde". I had a 2 digit id back then as well (everyone did, the hundreds place hadn't been invented yet), but when the community did away with florins -- I swore I wouldn't come back and went to a pig trough called Digge'. I finally came back to slashdot when the swine flu came around in the 70s (the board at that time was called Static Track. The moderator was, of course, Clu Gulager).

Keep on Truckin!

Re:200 year old technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814680)

There was a show called Prototype This! One of their projects was to have protection on a beach that had no lifeguard. You wore a GPS device about the size of a watch and hit the panic button. The device on shore shot a tube that hit the water and a piece of material dissolved in the water then causing the raft to inflate. It was a very cool solution although not super practical since you had to wear the GPS. But to the point below...maybe in a situation of an aircraft carrier where it would be somewhat realistic to have crew wearing a gps device and the need for automation is real given the ship can't easily turn and you only have a few seconds to react...could be cool.

But how this guy is getting credit for something that seems to have been done already a few times doesn't make sense to me....

Re:200 year old technology (1)

neongrau (1032968) | more than 3 years ago | (#33816438)

not sure if that was the same show i saw. but that's what i was thinking when i read that. they had 2 or 3 teams, one used a remote controlled model airplane to carry the life buoy to the person, another team built some kind of mortar which was in fact a t-shirt cannon. after tweaking targetting with a computer to assist against wind they successfully delivered the life buoy within a few metres to the person in the water.

Re:200 year old technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814846)

Disregard that, it's written in comic sans.

Re:200 year old technology (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817320)

If you don't have comic sans on your computer- you'll never know

alternatively- you can put a substitution preference into your browser

Re:200 year old technology (2, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815152)

Is that website 200 years old as well?

Re:200 year old technology (1)

Patch86 (1465427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33816792)

This one appears to work very well. Perfection rather than innovation I guess.

Appropriately, it has won the James Dyson Award. Dyson didn't invent the vacuum cleaner, just made better ones.

aiming method?? (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812684)

There doesn't seem to be much in the way of aiming assistance from the graphic. If there's enough force to shoot the payload 150M then I'd prefer it land a few meters near to me but not on my head if I were in need of its help. Aiming as shown could put the thing 100M away.

Re:aiming method?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813338)

If it is as easy to use and as accurate as the AT4 anti tank weapon then aiming should not be a problem.
With the specified distance of 150m I would expect to be able to place the flotation device within 1m from the target.

Re:aiming method?? (1)

zelbinion (442226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814640)

Ah, yes, well... I guess you'll just have to wait until next year when the Human Homing Emergency Life-Preserver Munition Emitter (HHELP-ME) is available. Until then, I guess you can sink 'em or save 'em (or both) with the same weapon, er, um, life saving bazooka...

I wonder when someone will build a mod to put one of these in a first person shooter? BFG? Naw, give me the LPB!

Boom. Headshot. (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812780)

A bazooka that saves lives by shooting people in the face. Safety has never been so cool!

Re:Boom. Headshot. (1)

lancelotlink (958750) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812934)

So does that mean Dick Cheney can finally shoot people in the face and more easily get away with it claiming that "I was just trying to save the guy"?

Re:Boom. Headshot. (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813352)

So does that mean Dick Cheney can finally shoot people in the face and more easily get away with it claiming that "I was just trying to save the guy"?

Or that he'll keep using shotguns and claim that he thought it was the liferaft shooter he was using.

Re:Boom. Headshot. (1)

badboy_tw2002 (524611) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814788)

Dick Cheney doesn't need to make excuses, nor does Dick Cheney make mistakes. If Dick Cheney shot you in the face, you deserved it, and he'll do it again, and he wont' say sorry!

Re:Boom. Headshot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33817592)

Do you always speak about yourself in the third-person?

Re:Boom. Headshot. (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813408)

So... just read back your comment and realized I misread what you meant to say there. Sorry about duplicating your post!

Re:Boom. Headshot. (1)

drc003 (738548) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813620)

Yet both of your posts were modded higher than the original. Wow.

I personally think this is indeed the sweetest raft ever! Love the great orange color so no cops mistake it for a bazooka and let off three clips of ammo into your chest. :)

Oh easy to make (1)

Tragedy4u (690579) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812910)

Take any ol' t-shirt cannon or spud gun and shove a life jacket into it done!

Re:Oh easy to make (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813104)

Sweet! I'm going to modify it to shoot grenades!

I got to fire a real grenade launcher in the '80s, and it IS as good as it sounds! Hit the side of a rusted out tank with a non-explosive round. Good times!

If you have quad damage (2, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812976)

Do you save four times as many people?

Re:If you have quad damage (2, Funny)

tacarat (696339) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813076)

Of course, but you do have to be mindful of splash damage.

Re:If you have quad damage (1)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814586)

Of course, but you do have to be mindful of splash damage.

I see what you did there.

Re:If you have quad damage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33815138)

It shoots life preservers, so I'd say it does 100 armor per hit on quad.

Beach balls at sporting events? (1)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 3 years ago | (#33812978)

I'd like to see this retrofitted to fire beach balls from the turf at sporting events, up to the fans in the upper decks. It would have to inflate just before hitting it's destination, of course. As an extra bonus, a cheerleader could fire this thing at unruly fans that are closer than 150m, and say "oops, my aim was off" when the fan gets smashed in the face by the deflated projectile. Cool, huh?

Re:Beach balls at sporting events? (3, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813502)

and say "oops, my aim was off" when the fan gets smashed in the face by the deflated projectile. Cool, huh?

Just ask Maude Flanders how cool that is.

It needs... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813176)

...a laser target designator.

Re:It needs... (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814862)

...a laser target designator.

So we can blind the person before hitting them in the head with a raft. They will never see it coming!

Re:It needs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33815758)

Do not look at life preserver with remaining eye?

Re:It needs... (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817110)

Generally laser target designators use infrared wavelengths. Apparantly blinding someone is against the geneva convention, plus you don't want to (in war) give away your position in visible light.

Nice, but ... (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813544)

As others have mentioned what if you hit someone? Yes, unlikely given the range/size/area involved but it still needs to be asked.

Also, how the hell do you aim this thing? If it can go 150m hod do you aim at that little speck of a person 75m away? And compensating for wind/current drift.

Over all a good idea and Kudos to the creator, it does still need a little work. Maybe Laser guided with a ballistic flight path and a bit of "no_hit_person" code in the guidance module so it lands near, but not on the designated target.

Re:Nice, but ... (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814736)

Maybe Laser guided with a ballistic flight path and a bit of "no_hit_person" code in the guidance module so it lands near, but not on the designated target.

this thing (probably) is purely balistic, so once it is fired, there is no way to compensate for sudden wind-gusts or anything, putting actual guidance electronics on it and some method of course correction probably makes this way to advanced/complex

if they can package this into the standard 40mm grenade launcher cartridge, you could just take one of those revolver things and pump out six of those life-rafts in quick succesion, or better yet:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HK_GMG [wikipedia.org]

Re:Nice, but ... (1)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815402)

Sorry, I goofed and should have said "high ballistic arch". I was thinking rather than a shallow arch like it appears to use in the vid it could be launched really steep angle and would come down almost vertical to the water. More like a mortar than a bazooka as shown.

As to guidance, its not new tech and would not be hard, or prohibitively expensive, to add to these projectiles. Raytheon make a laser guidance kit you can bolt onto a standard "dumb" bomb, the "brains" in those LGB kits are smaller than a cell phone, for this application could be even smaller (I worked in the industry, I know).

I like you idea of using a 40mm form factor (HK totally ROCKS!, thnx for the lnk). You might have to make the float ring smaller, maybe even just a tube like the ones you see kids play with at pools. In fact the smaller version could be used by life guards at lakes or close to shore.

I can see possibilities for variants of this device being made for many environments.

Existing patents on the same (1)

prakslash (681585) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813624)

Re:Existing patents on the same (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815900)

What people don't get about patents, it's general not an idea. It's a specific way to do something.

No thanks. (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813652)

I'll hold out for Pam Anderson to get to me.

Re:No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813830)

Sorry, she has had her "flotation devices" removed.

Fro5t pist (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33813728)

surprise to t4e

This would be really awesome... (1)

r00tyroot (536356) | more than 3 years ago | (#33813902)

at the office. Suck it, nerf guns!

150m isn't that far (2, Interesting)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814022)

Assuming this is designed for use on large ships where MOB is a distinct problem (consider how difficult it is to stop and turn around an aircraft carrier or container ship), at 20 knots, you'd have to notice the man overboard and fire the device within 15 seconds. At a carrier's max speed of 35 knots, you have less than 9 seconds. While it's certainly an improvement over hand thrown projectiles, it doesn't have enough distance to handle likely scenarios.

echo -e '150 m / 20 knots\ns'|units -t1 if you want to play with the conversion yourself.

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

opentunings (851734) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814274)

Most ships wouldn't turn. But they would send out a rescue helicopter. My guess is that the 'copter crews will see this as a great new tool.

Re:150m isn't that far (2, Informative)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815242)

Most ships wouldn't turn.

I was sonar operator on a frigate when in the navy. We sonar guys had a secondary role as crew of the dinghy. In a MOB situation we would get into survival suits and launch immediately, while the ship turned and cut engines after doing 180 degrees, ending up in roughly the same area as the man went overboard. Our target time was four minutes from MOB alarm until the man was safely aboard the dinghy. In realistic unannounced exercises we usually beat that time by a few seconds.

We didn't have a chopper, but we were told that most ships would follow this procedure anyway, simply because more eyeballs is better if the unlucky man isn't found immediately and a search is necessary. In addition the return is shorter for the dinghy, which is good when you have a freezing crew member on board.

On a side note a buddy of mine was stationed on a submarine. A popular prank whenever they got fresh crew on board was to sound a MOB alarm, then command one of the noobs to don a diving suit and exit via a torpedo tube to search for the victim. They got every reaction from "Stop shitting with me" to frantic fumbling with diving suits and tube doors :)

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815890)

In a MOB situation we would get into survival suits and launch immediately, while the ship turned and cut engines after doing 180 degrees, ending up in roughly the same area as the man went overboard.

Were you guys using davits or a chute? 4 minutes is very impressive with davits with any signficant freeboard.

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

Man Eating Duck (534479) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817496)

Were you guys using davits or a chute?

Hydraulic davits, but they had some kind of clutch and brakes for speedy descent. Our freeboard was about 11 meters, still the descent was *very* quick with a good winch operator, and we launched at speed if necessary. It helped that our "dinghy" was one of these jet-propulsed devil-may-care babies [google.com] . I called it a dinghy for lack of a better word, its speed and maneuverability is unbelievable even in rough seas (weight is 3000 Kg, not pounds as in the google translation. Why the heck do they translate *only* the unit Kg to pounds anyway?).

And of course we had to be good at it, even four minutes is a very long time indeed if you're immersed in seawater at -1 degrees C :)

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817690)

So now imagine one of these on board.

You hear MOB, you get out a floatie gun or two and shoot it off in the person's general direction. If the person is within 50 yards of the landing point, there's a decent chance they can swim to it. If not, at least you have an extra "beacon" on the water to tell you the general vicinity of the person (especially if the device has a small sea anchor to keep it from blowing in the wind too terribly fast).

If you can get it close enough to the victim so they can swim to it and get out of the cold water, you've just bought yourself a bunch of time for the rescue. If not, you've got a bit of flotsam you need to pick up after the rescue is over (fail or succeed).

I'm sure the launcher could be ramped WAY up from 150 meters and the accuracy could be improved considerably if this were a permanent emplacement on the stern of a ship that thought it might have a fairly regular use for such a device (military/Coast Guard ship, cruise ship, etc).

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815178)

Wouldn't this be more for beaches? 150m is about as far out as most people would go on a beach AFAIK.

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815810)

Wouldn't this be more for beaches? 150m is about as far out as most people would go on a beach AFAIK.

In my experience, once people get into trouble on a beach, they tend to be unable to swim or be in waves, which makes lifesaving devices pretty much useless. You have to actually go out and get them by swimming or using a boat.

Re:150m isn't that far (3, Insightful)

qc_dk (734452) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:150m isn't that far (1)

dondelelcaro (81997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817256)

A flotation device would be perfect in those cases.

If the currents were faster than swimmers could swim, then I'd expect you to quickly outdistance 150m. Though even in those cases, if you got close enough into the same current, it'd probably be close enough to be useful.

Of course, people will still find all kinds of innovative ways to drown themselves...

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817736)

Integrate some form of sea anchor on the flotation device, so at least the floatie is being pulled by the same currents as the swimmer. It's still up to the swimmer to cover the distance, but at least they aren't fighting a current trying to reach a floatie that's being blown in some other direction by the wind.

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

the cheong (1053282) | more than 3 years ago | (#33816746)

Plus if you're shooting opposite to the direction you're moving... relative velocity.

Re:150m isn't that far (1)

SheeEttin (899897) | more than 3 years ago | (#33817702)

Surely the vessel has smaller craft that can be launched... Even a lifeboat will do. Just slow down the big boat while the little boat zips over and picks up the guy.
(In the case of an aircraft carrier, it's likely that you'd have aircraft on board, so you could potentially launch one or more to assist in location or recovery.)

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814222)

is it BS&P Approved?

Great! (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814438)

Hail, hail, hail the uberjock who invented this. Ignore the naysayers and the ignorant comments from loserboy nerds who don't understand the importance of the device, and who obviously never had to deal with a rocket-powered line thrower, which work on a similar principle. It's a cool idea and it will be a great help to sea rescue operators (who happen to be jocks).

Top 5 weapon-inspired life-saving devices (1)

srussia (884021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33814674)

5. Bazooka-fired flotation device

4. Bazooka-fired MREs

3. Bazooka-fired fire extinguisher

2. Bazooka-fired first aid kit

1. Bazooka!

Re:Top 5 weapon-inspired life-saving devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33815218)

You forgot the bazooka-fired bazooka: you fire the bazooka to someone in need, who can then use the bazooka in self-defense.

Re:Top 5 weapon-inspired life-saving devices (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815924)

If only I could get some sort of gum~

Re:Top 5 weapon-inspired life-saving devices (1)

Dekker3D (989692) | more than 3 years ago | (#33816312)

The bazooka-fired first aid kit would be a fun addition to many games, anyway. Since you usually don't even need to do anything to pick up items in your path, a first aid kit to the face (fired by a bazooka) would actually heal you.

Awesome.

Re:Top 5 weapon-inspired life-saving devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33816594)

When I first saw the post, I immediately thought that this was like a flotation device that could also be used as a bazooka to take down ships. This would be great self-defense for downed carrier jockeys.

And not orange! Orange is definitely the wrong color. Should be camo.

Santos-Dumont invented this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33814936)

A cannon to shoot a personal buoy from the beach to people drowning... can't find the citation now.

Brilliant minds always reach similar conclusions.

Was I the only one to read this incorrectly? (1)

StickInTheMud94 (1127619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815058)

When I first read the subject, I thought this was a flotation device that doubled as a bazooka. You know...for all those times you've been floating in the water wishing you could blow someone else up....

Question (1)

KneelBeforeZod (1527235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815374)

Does this foam chemically react to the water or is there some sort of floater switch that activates the foam? Because if the foam chemically reacts to the water, then there could be long term storage problems if these projectiles are stored in a humid environment.

Just wondering.

Other Fun Uses (2, Funny)

davegravy (1019182) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815736)

Am I evil for thinking this would fun to shoot into the open windows of passing cars that play tasteless music too loudly?

Re:Other Fun Uses (1)

IBitOBear (410965) | more than 3 years ago | (#33816762)

sure... but how do you fill the passing car with water first?

Filling a passing car with water, _that's_ what I would like to have a gun do.

That's what you get for drowning (1)

VIPERsssss (907375) | more than 3 years ago | (#33815756)

Stupid swimmer.

Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33816318)

Megabyte already beat him to it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW4QrHTgQvU#t=01m51s

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