Aussie buoyancy aid to help save lives

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Inflatable canopy from local inventor designed to assist boaters during capsize.

An Australian safety invention designed to help boaters in the event of a capsize has been granted US and Australian patents and the company behind the invention, Survicap Pty Ltd, is now looking for manufacturing and marketing partners to help bring the product to market.

Called the Boat Buoyancy Aid, the safety device is an inflatable sun canopy containing buoyancy compartments that help keep a vessel afloat following a capsize. The canopy is attached to a robust targa bar securely mounted to the vessel’s gunwales and can be deflated and folded down during transportation.

See the Boat Buoyancy Aid in action:

Dru Wood, director of Survicap, said the idea of overhead buoyancy is a proven concept that has been available on rescue vessels in the commercial marine industry for many years. However, until now, it has not been available for smaller recreational vessels even though vessel capsize is a common cause of boating accidents and drownings.

“Small vessel capsize is unexpected and can happen in seconds,” he said. “In the worst cases, vessel occupants may not be wearing life jackets. With the boat inverted, people in the water sometimes suffer shock and are soon fatigued in their efforts to simply hold on to any floating surface, which is often wet and slippery. Drowning often follows.

“The current prototype has been tested and shown to assist vessel occupants, following a capsize event, to right the vessel and more easily access life jackets and safety gear, gain protection from the elements and marine predators, and subsequently attract attention or effect self-rescue.”

Survicap is now seeking industry partners to assist in bringing the product to the recreational boating market, ideally via a licensing arrangement with an established marine company. Wood estimates that the target market for the Boat Buoyancy Aid is approximately 190,000 vessels in Australia and over 7 million in the US.

“This product will save lives. Please help me make it available to those who love ‘messing about in boats’.”

For more information, contact Dru Wood via email or call 0488 230 291.

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