Back in the boat

Abstract

How long can you swim in cold water after falling overboard? How easy is it to climb back up into a small boat, weighed down by heavy clothing and maybe risking tipping the boat in the process? What if you exhaust yourself trying to get back in the boat and do not succeed? What if the shore was not as close as you thought?

My product is an easily mounted step that can be pulled out from water level and makes it possible to climb back into the boat after a fall overboard. Small open boats are often involved in lethal drowning accidents and the victim is often a middle aged or older man without a life jacket. Sometimes also drunk.

With my result I calculate with the fact that accidents always can happen, and I aim to give people in this context an ability to save themselves.

Inspiration and Method

The inspiration to the project comes from the fact that I have spent every summer in my life on boats, and because of this I have met many people in this context and understand how important this lifestyle is to many people. It felt natural for me to look into safety issues in this context.

I have chosen a very hands on approach to this project. With extensive user tests with full size boats and prototypes I have worked my way forward to a solution that is likely to work in real life. I have also experienced the effect of cold water on the body together with the future life savers during a course in safety at sea. I have interviewed the different actors who are working with rescue at sea and gotten an understanding of how the situation looks like from their perspective.

Result

REDEO is a footstep that can be reached and pulled out from water level in case one is falling over board. It can be mounted on most small boats and is possible to adjust to different railings. The step folds out and stops in an angle out of the boat, which makes it much easier to climb. When not in use, the step is neatly hidden inside the boat and is not in the way.

For particularly small boats that are prone to tipping while climbing, there is a possibility to buy a version with inflatable units. They inflate at the railing and allow the boat to tilt, but not to tip.