Some believe that a flying flotation device is an unworkable concept. That is to say a small “puffy” UAV or unmanned aerial vehicle, which flies out to a drowning victim. Yet if you were drowning or fell over board of a cruise ship, military ship, large yacht or oilrig you would beg to differ? If you were a victim of a riptide and were now quarter mile out, you might be glad to have a visitation from such a flying flotation.
Critics argue that it takes time to set up a "UAV", type in its coordinates, which are bound to be off a little, and then send it out. Not to mention that, the kid has likely taken on water by then. Even if this overly complicated system does happen to work without any human error or equipment failure - now you expect a half drowned victim with no
training to perform a self-rescue? And how much does a UAV cost as compared with a PWC personal watercraft? You didn't mention the cost, betting it is quite high.
The critics in this case are wrong as let's face it face it flotation devices can only be thrown 50 yards at maximum and you have a man over board and traveling away from them at 20-35 knots, it is not even going to get close. So the small “puffy” UAV or unmanned aerial vehicle, which can be hand launched to the potential drowning victim could be just the answer. This device would look like an exaggerated model airplane, which needs a diet or looks like it belongs in a cartoon of some type. This device would not be any more complicated than a GPS with a dial on it and a push button to start the battery which runs the propeller, point and shoot. Ever turn on an Alpha Numeric Pager; add a dial and throw it, it is that simple.
Getting a flotation device to a drowning victim is about the best thing you can do and the faster the better, therefore a flying flotation device makes sense. Often rescuers hesitate and do not make good use of their tools or the latest technologies and are complete afraid. Often they are so busy trying to be safe that it takes them 15-minutes to get locked and loaded and ready for the rescue. If humans cannot get it done, use robots and technology and lets save some taxpayers some money in all these training of first responders for such things as sexual harassment at FEMA. We can build these FFDs or Flying Flotation Device units for under $1,000 on economies of scale.
Fortunately the even the critics agree that the Flying Flotation Device has some merit and one recently said; “I'm sure that there are situations and applications in which your UAV
would be the tool of choice. Offshore oil platforms would make a good starting point, and unlike a public or private beach, they might even be able to afford this technology, and the extensive training program, which will surely have to accompany it. Once they and a few other strategically chosen customers start using it, if lifeguards and yachters want to start using it too - bonus!”
The fact is that a flying foldout wing flotation device makes sense anytime you have humans around large bodies of water to prevent unnecessary drowning. So the peanut gallery needs to embrace this new technology and this application. Think about it.
"Lance Winslow" - Online Think Tank forum board. If you have innovative thoughts and unique perspectives, come think with Lance; www.WorldThinkTank.net/wttbbs/