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This wearable could save your life at sea

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Gavin Nicholl and Ryan McGovern, co-founders of SeaBeacon. Image: TechWatch

TechWatch | Silicon Republic Startups

SeaBeacon is one of those ideas that’s so simple, you wonder why it hasn’t been invented yet.

It’s a wearable emergency beacon, wrapped into a sports watch, that gives your position using GPS technology to rescuers, should you get into trouble in the water. It’s aimed at recreational surfers, swimmers or other people using the water near shorelines who could be swept out to sea by a riptide.

“It will replace your existing sports wearable,” said COO Gavin Nicholl. Nicholl is one of six co-founders, all of whom are completing their final master’s degrees in electrical and electronic engineering at Queen’s University Belfast.

‘The device not only assists any rescue operation, but it helps prevent trouble in the first place’

I ask Nicholl how the team came up with the idea for SeaBeacon. “The Scottish surfer Matthew Bryce got caught in a rip current and was dragged out to sea for 32 hours. Rescuers couldn’t find him in the water.

Maybe that was because he had drifted 26 miles, from Scottish waters towards Northern Ireland, by the time he was found.”

Nicholl goes on: “Initially, we wanted to create something that would prevent that.”

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Source: This wearable could save your life at sea


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