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Samuel Adelojou has invented a rocket propelled grenade buoyancy device or ‘Buoyancy Bazooka’.

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Life-saving grenade rocket

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The device is also equipped with flares for night-time. He also took the idea of adding a whistle from a popular toy called a Vortex. Made from hydrophobic foam, the buoy can expand up to 40 times its size on contact with water so the swimmer can stay afloat without risk the buoy will spring a leak. The idea came to Mr Adeloju during Army Reserve training, when his instructors demonstrated grenade and flare launchers. Sam Adeloju with his Longreach device. GRENADES are not exactly synonymous with life-saving, but they have inspired a young Sydney designer to create an award-winning device that could save swimmers from drowning. Photo: James Alcock Making waves … Sam Adeloju’s design, named Longreach, with the unofficial name ”Buoyancy Bazooka”, shoots an emergency flotation device 150 metres out to sea.

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Life-saving grenade rocket

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”They’re [Surf Life Saving Australia] keen to get some money to do further testing and maybe get it into production,” he said. I wanted to give them something that gave them time to assess the situation properly.”

After observing the grenade launchers in action, Mr Adeloju thought of ways he could improve on previous designs. ”I realised how ineffective a [standard] life ring would be if the drowning victim was a great distance from their rescuer. A product’s functionality couldn’t be more important when it’s used to save someone’s life.”

The runners-up included a solar-powered emergency water desalination device and a device that makes cardiopulmonary resuscitation more efficient. Last night Mr Adeloju won the $16,000 James Dyson Award, which is named after the British designer of bagless vacuum cleaners and bladeless fans. Mr Dyson said the Longreach was a ”smart solution to a very real problem. Mr Adeloju, the first Australian to win the award in its five years, is in talks with Surf Life Saving Australia about conducting field trials, but winning the prize will give the Longreach international exposure. ”In my research I found a lot of surf-rescue teams ended up putting themselves in danger. It’s the difference between a basketball and a bullet.”

The Longreach has a lightweight styrofoam casing, meaning if it hits a swimmer it is like ”being hit with a paper cup full of water”, he said. My system spins as it travels through the air, which makes it easier to spot. The University of NSW, from which he graduated in industrial design, will also receive $16,000. Included in his prize is a trip to the Dyson laboratories in Britain. ”Existing launch devices use compressed air and only have a range of 60 metres.

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