The U.S. Coast Guard is now collaborating with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on something it calls the “Ready for Rescue,” a $255,000 prize competition that is looking for ways that will make it easier to locate people, MOB victims in particular, in the water.
The reason for the contest stems from the fact that while a life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD) can keep a person afloat, a person in open waters represents a small, moving target, and even in a successful rescue mission can take hours.
“Boater safety solutions that harness new designs and technologies can improve the chance of a successful rescue,” said William N. Bryan, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology. “New, innovative solutions are critical. We are proud to support our nation’s maritime first responder with this important, life-saving effort.”
“The U.S. Coast Guard is devoted to helping boaters in distress. One critical challenge is finding people in the water,” said Bert Macesker, Executive Director of the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center. “Partnering with DHS allows us to increase the Coast Guard’s access to innovations that make people in the water more detectable. We hope to build off of the success of our previous prize competition partnership for environmentally friendly mooring.”
A call for concepts represents the first phase of an anticipated three-phase prize competition. Phase I concepts could include a new or updated life jacket or PFD, an attachment to a life jacket or PFD, or an additional device for boaters. The best concepts will be effective, affordable, and hold the potential for wide adoption by recreational boaters.
Those interested in participating in the Challenge should submit their concepts by 4:59 PM ET, Monday, October 15, 2018. A panel of judges will then evaluate the submissions and select up to five monetary prize winners and up to five non-monetary honorable-mention-award winners. $25,000 will be distributed evenly among each of the Phase I monetary prize winners.
In Phase II, selected participants from Phase I will participate in a “Piranha Pool” to pitch their solutions and compete for a total prize pool of $120,000. This prize will assist each monetary prize winner in developing their concept into a working prototype. In Phase III, the Coast Guard will field test prototypes alongside standard USCG approved safety equipment. At the conclusion of Phase III, the judging panel may award a total $110,000 in additional monetary prizes.
For more information about the U.S. Coast Guard Ready for Rescue Challenge, visit www.readyforrescuechallenge.com .