Longreach is a man-portable system that allows for the rapid conveyance of temporary, water-activated buoyancy devices to a drowning victim’s location. It is designed to allow a victim to remain buoyant while rescue personnel prepare the appropriate response to the situation. The rescue package uses hydrophobic or rapidly expanding foam to provide buoyancy once the package contacts the water. This allows the package to be vastly smaller in size than any currently existing buoyancy device. Equipped with a light for attracting attention the Rescue Package can be propelled over 150m. Longreach is also equipped with Para-Flares for night-time Illumination. Longreach is designed to be simple to manufacture and easy to handle. Ideally used by emergency services personnel or a ship’s crew, Longreach has the potential to significantly reduce the number of drownings at sea.
Every year hundreds of people are drowned in situations where rescue systems are present, but unable to reach the victim in a timely fashion. ‘Longreach’ is designed to accommodate a wide range of users from the beach and small fishing boats through to super tankers. It is a man-portable system that allows for the rapid conveyance of temporary, water-activated buoyancy devices to a victim’s location in a situation where other forms of rescue and safety devices would fail. It is designed to allow a victim to remain buoyant while rescue personnel prepare the appropriate response to the rescue situation.
In the Development of the Life Ring, the projectile that is launched to the vicinity of the victim, a number of considerations needed to be made. The focus was on developing a method of inflation that was distinctly different and better than all those that have come before it. A foam based inflation presents the best possible balance between safety, ease of manufacture and cost. By using expanding foam as the core of the rescue package many problems typically associated with water-activated inflation are negated. Weight and cost are reduced while reliablity and puncture resistance are increased.
Longreach is currently in the prototyping and testing phase and is due to start field trials with Surf Life Saving NSW (in Australia) in the coming months. See the links below for more information and Links to news story about the Longreach rescue system.