U.S. Coast Guard Academy Mechanical Engineering cadets test out their new rescue basket design at a local simulator facility in April 2018. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard
Cadets from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy have been prototyping a new rescue basket. The redesigned basket could improve how the Coast Guard conducts search and rescue missions with MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters, the Guard said.
First class cadets Christian Breviario, Riely Brande, Benjamin Crutchfield, Nolan Richerson and Spencer Smith have spent the last year working with the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center on improvements to the current rescue basket design after receiving input from search and rescue operators.
The new basket design has enough room for two individuals to sit comfortably. Modifications have been made to provide a point of entry that is easier for people who may be injured or have limited mobility. Easier accessibility decreases the amount of time needed per hoisting evolution and improves the effectiveness of the Coast Guard during mass rescue incidents.
The cadets also reconfigured the flotation system of the basket, which increases the buoyancy of the basket by 79 pounds of force. This upgrade allows for increased comfort of victims within the basket since they will be surrounded by buoyant material on all sides.
The group is pursuing a patent for their design and is waiting on the RDC to decide if they should pursue further testing.