The Coast Guard is Semper Paratus, “always ready” in case of emergency, but we need your help to ensure that boaters are ready too.

In a successful rescue mission, it can take hours to locate a person in the water— especially when they are separated from their watercraft. While the U.S. Coast Guard has tools and technology to help locate people, they are seeking effective and affordable solutions to better equip boaters.

Submit your concept to help make it easier for the Coast Guard to find people in the water. Your idea could become widely adopted by recreational boaters across America.

To help bring your idea from concept to prototype, the Challenge is anticipated to take place over three phases.* The Challenge is currently in Phase I, sourcing concepts for solutions. Examples of concepts may be a new or updated life jacket, an attachment to a life jacket, or a new safety device for boaters to use in addition to wearing their life jacket. After the judging panel evaluates submissions and select up to five monetary prize winners and up to five non-monetary honorable mention award winners. $25,000 will be distributed evenly among each of the Phase I monetary prize winners.

Following Phase I, winners will compete in a “Piranha Pool” for an additional $120,000 in monetary prizes to support the development of their concepts into prototypes over the course of Phase II. In Phase III, participants will test their prototypes alongside standard U.S. Coast Guard approved safety equipment in a field test and compete for an additional $110,000 in monetary prizes.

Ready to enter the Challenge? Submit a concept by 4:59 PM ET, Monday, October 15, 2018.  

Have questions? Read our Q&A.

*The U.S. Coast Guard and DHS S&T intend to conduct Phases II and III of the competition. All aspects of Phases II and III are subject to change at the discretion of the U.S. Coast Guard and DHS S&T.