March 24, 2009 Teseo+Arianna is a concept by Italian designer Davide Anzalone that takes surf lifesaving to another level. The design comes in three major components - a tower (Arianna) with a rotating platform, a small vehicle (Teseo) with a jet engine and a quick-inflating safety vest with a CO2 cartridge. It is all designed with form and function in mind, and has the advantage of being environmentally friendly, with solar panels on the tower. It is based on the knowledge that a lifeguard and lifesaver needs to minimize the time it takes to reach a victim and begin giving life support.

Teseo and Arianna (Theseus and Ariadne) is a well known story from Greek mythology that has often been adapted into opera, although there seem to be a few variations, including one in which Teseo escapes the labyrinth and defeats the minotaur for Arianna, in some versions with her help, and another version where he deserts her on an island and she is picked up by a god and becomes his immortal bride. We’re assuming it has more to do with the former rather than the latter.

The idea is that the lifeguard sits atop a tower with a rotating platform that is powered by solar panels that track the sun, outfitted with a radio transceiver, and first aid kits and battery blocks stored at the base. The lifeguard can climb up the foot ladder and quickly slide down the unique design. Firemen have their poles, now lifeguards can have their slide.

The second part of the concept design, Teseo, is like the Swiss army knife of floating devices. It includes a jet engine for that necessary burst of speed in the water powered by a lithium-ion battery block (which has been charged by the aforementioned solar panel) with an LCD screen, radio transceiver, laser scanner, and microprocessor. It has control grips with piezoelectric buttons and a seat with an inflatable safety vest folded underneath. Teseo can go into autopilot mode receiving instructions from the tower.

The final part is the inflatable fitted with a CO2 cartridge that is quickly inflated while still in the water. The person to be rescued would be pulled onto the inflatable safety vest once the lifeguard is in the seat and life support can be commenced immediately.

Anzalone anticipates that Teseo would be lightweight, but it will have to be dragged behind unlike the inflatables carried by the side in true Baywatch style. In all it is a unique design concept that uses solar energy where there's bound to be sunshine and if proven, might give life guards an added edge and make beach goers feel safer.

Jamilah Le

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