As the nation’s maritime first responder, the U.S. Coast Guard is devoted to helping boaters in distress. Within this mission, one critical issue is finding people in the water.

When a person is separated from their watercraft, they can be left isolated in open waters. A lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD) is critical for survival, keeping a person afloat while they seek safety. But a person in the water is a small, moving target and even in a successful rescue mission, locating the person can take hours, when only minutes are available.

New boater safety solutions have the potential to greatly improve the chances of a successful rescue. Current technologies such as electronic locators and reflective materials on flotation devices can help the U.S. Coast Guard find people. However, adoption of these technologies is not prevalent, due to factors such as cost, comfort, style, and awareness.

The U.S. Coast Guard Ready for Rescue Challenge invites you to submit a concept for a solution that helps make a person in the water easier to find. The best solutions will be effective, affordable, and hold the potential for wide adoption by recreational boaters. Submitted concepts may be for a new or updated life jacket or PFD, an attachment to a life jacket or PFD, or a new safety device boaters use in addition to wearing their life jacket or PFD.


Have questions? Read the Challenge Questions and Answers.