Submit your solution in the U.S. Coast Guard Ready For Rescue Challenge

The United States Coast Guard’s Research and Development Center (USCG RDC) in conjunction with the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is seeking new concepts for a solution that helps make people lost in the water easier to find and rescue. The best concepts will be effective, affordable, and hold the potential for wide adoption by recreational mariners and boaters. Submitted concepts may be for a new or updated lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD), an attachment to a lifejacket/PFD, or something recreational mariners and boaters use in addition to wearing their lifejacket/PFD.

As the nation’s maritime first responder, the USCG is devoted to helping mariners and boaters in distress. Within this mission, one critical challenge is finding people who are lost in the water.

When a person falls off of a recreational watercraft (boat, kayak, Jet Ski, paddle craft, etc.), they can be left isolated in open waters. A life jacket or personal floatation device (PFD) is a must for survival, keeping a person afloat while they wait for rescue. But a person lost in the water is a small, moving target and it can sometimes take hours before rescue teams are able to locate them.

New recreational mariner safety solutions have the potential to greatly improve the chances of a successful rescue. Current technologies such as dyes, personal locators, and reflective materials in lifejackets/PFDs can help the U.S. Coast Guard better find people, and are shown to improve rescue rates. However, adoption of these technologies remains low, due to factors like cost, comfort, style, and awareness.

With the U.S. Coast Guard Ready For Rescue Challenge, the USCG and DHS S&T calls upon innovators from a wide variety of fields— from Public Safety, Maritime Safety, Recreational Sports, Consumer Goods and Materials, Wearables, Textiles, Smart Technologies, and the Internet of Things— to develop concepts for a new or updated lifejacket/PFD, attachment to a lifejacket/PFD or something recreational mariners and boaters use in addition to wearing their lifejacket/PFD that will enable search and rescue personnel to more readily find and rescue a person in the water. The USCG and DHS S&T intends for this work to be the first step in the design of new, improved or adapted technologies that can be leveraged by current USCG Search and Rescue assets to locate and rescue a person in the water faster.

This is a multi-phase competition:

  1. Ideation/Concept: October 15, 2018 SUBMISSION DEADLINE

  2. Prototype Development: By invitation only.

  3. Prototype Assessment in an Operational Scenario: By invitation only.

Submissions accepted and more information available here.