Your chances of surviving a rescue at sea just got a lot better, thanks to some creative cadets at the Coast Guard Academy. A group of mechanical engineering seniors spent the last year working at the Coast Guard Research and Development Center in New London, Connecticut, to improve the existing helicopter rescue basket, which is limited in its ability to rescue a large number of people quickly and safely.
The cadets came up with a new design that is large enough to hold two people at a time sitting in the basket, but is still small enough to fit into the cabin of the Coast Guard’s search-and-rescue Jayhawk helicopters. Their proposed basket also is easier to get into, even if people are injured, and is more buoyant.
“We have made the basket more accessible, decreased the amount of time needed per hoisting evolution, and improved the effectiveness of the Coast Guard during mass rescue incidents,” said First Class Cadet Christian Breviario, one of the students on the project.
In scenarios where 18 people or more require helicopter rescues, the new basket could cut the time required to hoist everyone onboard a helicopter in half.
The Coast Guard is now considering whether to take the students’ project into further testing and refinement. Read more: