Back in 2012, this column featured a story about EMILY (EMergency Integrated Lifesaving LanYard), a 4-foot robotic buoy that can swim through riptides at a top speed of 24 mph to rescue swimmers in distress that lifeguards can’t reach (emilyrobot.com).
EMILY, by Hydronalix, powered by an electric motor pumping water, is remote controlled, and can survive impacts even with rocks and reefs. Swimmers in trouble can use EMILY as a flotation device until rescuers can arrive, or EMILY and the swimmer can be pulled to shore via an 800-yard rescue line, even through heavy surf and currents.
Depoe Bay got an EMILY back in 2012, and now the Rockaway Beach Volunteer Fire Department has one. On June 14, they did a practice run with EMILY with one of their cadets. A screen shot from the Facebook video they posted is shown.
Perhaps more North Coast beach towns would benefit from having one of these devices available.