What exactly is Rescu Swim'r and how does it work?
Why do I need a Rescu Swim'r?
Currently, the accepted method of getting a Type IV PFD to a man-overboard is to throw the PFD into the water, tow it toward the man-overboard, pass them then turn the vessel around them until the device gets to them. This maneuver is very difficult to execute and many operators can never achieve it. To even have a chance of accomplishing it, an operator must run the boat VERY closely past the victim on the initial pass before the turn. Just operating a boat this close to a person in the water poses an extreme risk to their safety.
What generally happens with a less-experienced or panicked operator is that he/she will logically pass the victim from a safe distance (rather than the requisite 'extremely close' pass), then start to circle around the victim. This won't work. Once in this pattern, the PFD will NEVER reach the victim. It's been called the “Circle Of Death”. A common last-resort response to the Circle of Death is to stop the boat, and back it down toward the victim, a dangerous maneuver that ends in a line-fouled propeller AT BEST.
Experts estimate that 1 in 5 drownings are fatal in the first 120 seconds (often due to cold-water shock effects). That's just 2 minutes. The Rescu Swim'r gets life-saving flotation to an underway man-overboard consistently in just over 1 minute. Regardless of the boat operator's experience level. This device enables someone with zero boat-operating experience to get life-saving buoyancy (a Type IV PFD) to a man overboard quickly, reliably, and safely.
In our product testing to date, it took an average of 1 minute & 14 seconds to get a PFD to the passenger USING Rescu Swim'r. Without using Rescu Swim'r it took an average of 9 minutes & 51 seconds! A dramatic difference to be sure. But consider these times in light of the FACT that, in cold water, not even the best swimmer can make meaningful movements (much less swim) with their limbs after about 10 minutes.
The above graph represents the likelihood of an overboard passenger surviving as time in the water passes. This outlines the importance of each second in rescuing a man-overboard. Overlaid on this graph are the average times that it takes for that passenger to be rescued with and without Rescu Swim'r. It is clear from this, that an overboard passenger is drastically more likely to be rescued alive using Rescu Swim'r, compared to going without it.
This graph can also be read as representing the ability of a person to re-board the ship after being pulled to it using a PFD. After just a couple minutes, a man-overboard in water of colder than 60 degrees Fahrenheit begins to lose the ability to grasp anything, and soon thereafter will lose any meaningful movement of their limbs -- thus becoming dead weight for a potential rescuer. We have lost many a boater who was lashed to the side of the boat, unable to be brought out of the water. Using a Rescu Swim'r will get flotation to the man-overboard sooner, which increases the chance of them being able to re-board the boat safely. A Rescu Swim'r will get them back to the boat while they have nearly all of their coordination and strength left.