Originally Posted by boatman61
Many years back I had the idea of a self inflating balloon tucked into the collar of lifejackets.. when you went over the LJ would auto inflate as normal then a couple of minutes later the balloon would auto inflate and stream out a thin 5 metre line with a breaking strain of 500lbs..
The idea being a luminous yellow globe the size of a Bean Bag seat is 100% more visible than a head bobbing in waves.. also it would make retrievals easier and less risky for the MOB.. just close to hook the balloon and haul the casualty in to a safe part of the boat for the lift out.
Could not raise much interest tho..
Boatie, I actually saw a similar device marketed about 30 years ago! I don't know who made it, but I was living in the SF bay
area at the time. The balloon was attached to ones life vest or clothing
and would inflate when submersed. I think it only went up about 150 feet, in a calm It was actually silver in color, and the coating was supposed to be radar
reflective as well as light reflective. The idea was that you could easily find it with a search light (although it's altitude would vary with the wind
, so that might not be perfect), and you could also find it with radar
. I thought hard about it for a year (funds were tight) and then went back to buy one but there were none and I have occasionally searched, but found none since. it seemed like a wonderful idea and a sure seller. Maybe there were some operational issues which kept the idea from succeeding, but I would think that with modern materials and the ever increasing emphasis on safety
something could be devised and successfully marketed.