The Rescue Tip-Board, a fully inflatable life raft for rescue workers, which Spark developed in cooperation with HONOR Safety & Consultancy, took to the water this Spring. The second prototype of the raft was successfully tested on the Noord Aa in Zoetermeer by fire service divers René van Wel, Ruud Gareman and Henk Westerduin from the Haaglanden Fire Service.
Spark was asked to develop an innovative concept to support the fire service in rescuing people drowning in shallow water. The result is the innovative Rescue Tip-Board. An ergonomic aid that allows rescue workers to pull drowning victims out of the water easily without using excessive force. By standing at the back of the raft, the raft tilts. The rescue worker can then reach down and scoop up the drowning victim out of the water and, simply by leaning backwards, pull him on board. This also keeps the need to manhandle the victim to a minimum.
The innovative life raft is self-inflating and can be towed using the Seabob, a powerful electric jet ski. The difference with the first prototype of the life raft is that the design is now completely inflatable. The bottom of the first prototype was made from polyester board. A fully inflatable lifesaver has the advantage of being lightweight, compact, easy to fold up and portable. It’s also cheaper.
The most important challenge for the fully inflatable prototype was that the life raft had to perform like the first prototype in the water. And it worked! In the meantime, we are working with HONOR Safety & Consultancy on the first production series of the Rescue Tip-Board.
Basic fire-fighting equipment
The Haaglanden Fire Service tested the first prototype of the life raft in early August 2011. These first tests were promising. The Rescue Tip-Board appears to be a fast, safe and worker friendly method for water rescues. It would be great if the lifesaver could become a standard part of basic fire-fighting equipment.