Byron lifesavers to trial new technology
BYRON Bay surf lifesavers have become among the first in the country to trial new jet propulsion technology that is tipped to save lives.
WaveJet is a water propulsion system contained in a pod that can be installed in a range of water craft.
Its US inventors say it produces 9kg of thrust allowing you to travel up to three times faster than paddling in the water.
It is operated from a wireless wrist controller leaving your hands and feet free
It has a continuous run time of 60 minutes and recharges in a wall socket.
The technology was more than 12 years in production and was only introduced to Australia two months ago.
Dave Furlong, from the company's Melbourne head office, gave local surf lifesavers the opportunity to try it out while visiting the region today. "It will save lives because it's quicker. Ten seconds quicker can be a matter of life and death," Mr Furlong said.
He expects the technology to be adopted by surf clubs across the country.
Byron Bay life-guard Loudon Potter said he was impressed by the technology and it would be a great asset to the life-saving movement.
"You're not paddling as much so you approach a patient less fatigued," Mr Potter said.
Brett Munro from Munro Surfboards, who has signed up as the local distributor, said it also would be useful recreationally for older, injured or handicapped surfers.
"They also can be customised. You can design your own board and get a pod fitted into it," he said.
The pods retail for $5000 but Mr Munro predicts future models will be cheaper and lighter.