‘We kept wondering why they couldn’t see us.’
It’s an all-too-common scenario in search and rescue missions; aircraft fly overhead, unable to see survivors. No matter how much they flail their arms, people are little more than a speck.
Inspiration for a rescue tool – Biscayne Bay as wrapped by Christo – .. . Stories of rescues across the world are peppered with how difficult it is to find a life raft, let alone a lone sailor in a life jacket in turbulent – or even calm – seas.
Now there’s one of those inventions that are so obvious that one must wonder why it hadn’t been thought of before – it’s called the RescueStreamer.
RescueStreamer? is the brainchild of geo-chemist Dr. Robert Yonover, based in Hawaii. However, it took Dr Yonover’s own near brush with death to start him thinking. It was born following, not a sea incident, but a frightening single-engine Cessna flight. He wondered how he’d be seen, let alone rescued.
A week later, Yonover saw the pink plastic large scale wrapping of the islands in Biscayne Bay. It had been wrapped by controversial artist Christo, who makes a career out of wrapping cars, galleries, coastlines, even the Reichstag, and his question was answered.
‘I just said if I could unroll a little pink piece of plastic behind me, then [rescuers] could see me.’
Of course, it had to float. It also had to remain unfurled, regardless of wind conditions. It had to be light enough to carry, easy enough to deploy (even if injured) and visible over any terrain. These were the complications of a seemingly simple invention, and after 11 years of research and development, the revolutionary RescueStreamer? was introduced.