It’s a common scenario. You’re out at sea with your friends in your favorite boat, drinking, playing Scrabble and watching Jaws. None of you are aware that someone in the group has decided to go for a swim and has suddenly been overcome by fatigue or sickness or playfully deadly mermaids.

Upon hearing his cries for help, you put on your best Rambo face, grab your Buoyancy Bazooka, and shoot your friend a life-saving foam ring.

“It’s ok” you say to your other friends, “he’s well within the 150 meter range of the Buoyancy Bazooka.”


Well, it’s a device, and it won the 2010 James Dyson Awards, which is an annual international competition for inventions. The actual name of this uber-potent gadget is Longreach Buoyancy Deployment System, but the competition judges, figuring it looks like a grenade launcher, gave it its more military nickname.

It fires a small grenade-like projectile made of lightweight hydrophobic foam that, upon contact with water expands to 40 times its original volume within 15 seconds.

That’s that. Now go save your friends from drowning.