Made by Arizona-based Hydronalix, EMILY is faster than a human lifeguard. The specs surrounding this artificial lifeguard are truly impressive. Its lifesaving applications are remarkable; its political ramifications — priceless.
Named EMILY (an acronym for EMergency Integrated Lifesaving lanYard) by manufacturer Hydronalix, the device has astonishing specs. Able to spend 518 minutes on patrol at five miles per hour, it can reach a 35-minute duration top speed burst of 40 miles per hour.
Although it only weighs 25 pounds, it is possible to add up to 15 pounds to its payload while it features an 80-pound buoyancy. Visually, it is reminiscent of a floating gurney covered with a bright red cloth and a white cross. Based in Sahuarita, AZ, Hydronalix specializes in the design and manufacture of unmanned floating devices.
EMILY Sighted At Zuma Beach, Malibu
As outlined by Popular Science, EMILY made its debut in California at Malibu’s Zuma Beach, a Los Angeles County shoreline that is popular with locals and tourists. If the 2009 Fourth of July weekend is any indication, Zuma Beach lifeguards need all the help they can get.
The Malibu Times reported on a beach brawl that left one person dead, an estimated 300,000 beachgoers that weekend and 25 rescues by lifeguards. There were also locals who thought it funny to dig eight- to 12-feet deep holes behind lifeguard towers, which not only endangers them when a rescue must be made but may also lead to a live burial of the diggers.
With so much chaos going on in just on one weekend, it stands to reason that Zuma Beach is the perfect venue for EMILY’s debut. At this time, the lifeguard still controls EMILY by remote control, but the up-and-coming Hydronalix model is said to contain sonar, which can auto-deploy the artificial lifeguard if it senses a swimmer’s motion becoming synonymous with a person in distress.
Whatever Happened to the Los Angeles County Boycott of Arizona?
It is interesting to note that EMILY presents a dilly of a pickle to Los Angeles County, which voted three to two to join the Arizona boycott. The result was to be a ban of new contracts with companies based in Arizona, while already existing contracts were to be canceled.
It appears that Arizona-based Hydronalix is exempt from the ban — or perhaps it fell through the cracks. Then again, maybe the county board of supervisors is realizing the folly of its vote, much like the Los Angeles city council, which had to eat its words and vote to award a contract renewal to an Arizona-based red-light camera company.
In the meantime, Zuma Beach visitors know that Hydronalix’ EMILY is aiding any lifeguard in keeping them safe, Arizona boycott or not.