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#281683 - 08/13/16 10:30 PM RescueMe Balloon
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 878
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
There is a new product trying to get to market that seems to be very interesting and promising. However, they failed in their crowdfunding effort and I'm not sure if it stalled or the inventors are still trying to get it to retail.

It's called the Rescue Me balloon - a flare sized unit (6" x 2" dia.) that has a helium canister, an inflatable balloon on a 150' long fishing line tether. It also has a strobe light with a 7 day battery. I presume you set it off like a flare and aim it at the sky to deploy the balloon. It provides a visible SOS and light above the user.

Watch the video and tell me what you think. If it ever becomes available it would provide a welcome addition to a life raft kit. Being seen easier would definitely help the SAR groups to spot you. I do have questions about its durability and if you are in a heavy storm you may need to reign it in to prevent it from being lost. How strong is the mono-filament tether? How leak proof is the balloon? If it does leak and you are able to effect repair does the canister have enough extra helium to refill the balloon?
RescueMe balloon

The second link is to an article where it suggests the price would be about $75 retail.

The third link is to the home page on KickStarter where they have better detailed photos and information.

The fourth link is to the inventor's bio.
Craig Key's bio

#281695 - 08/15/16 01:07 AM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: Roarmeister]
MoBOB Offline

Registered: 09/17/07
Posts: 1219
Loc: here
Cool idea IF . . . The biggest flaw overall, in my mind, is that the video was not really a video. It was only spliced stills. If they would have shown it actually being used in a controlled situation (pond, pool, lake) maybe there would be a better chance at evaluation. Until then, it is nothing more than a philosophical musing with pretty pictures. In other words - "Where's the beef?!"

"Its not a matter of being ready as it is being prepared" -- B. E. J. Taylor

#281699 - 08/15/16 02:33 AM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: Roarmeister]
Doug_Ritter Offline


Registered: 01/28/01
Posts: 1950
What's old is new again: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1992-03-30/business/9201310294_1_device-caid-locator

No LED light, of course, but same exact idea.

I have a couple of the original ones here on a shelf...
Doug Ritter
Equipped To SurviveŽ
Chairman & Executive Director
Equipped To Survive Foundation

#282415 - 10/10/16 03:51 AM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: Roarmeister]
duckear Offline

Registered: 03/01/04
Posts: 477

#282420 - 10/10/16 05:57 PM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: duckear]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1975
Loc: Colorado
If there's any breeze at all, I'd prefer one of these. I have one, and you can just throw them up and off they go with the most minimal of breeze. Stake it down and leave it. Pack up really small (no frame - they're a parafoil - totally soft). This small 5 square foot model has plenty of pull to loft an LED light/flasher. The bigger ones pull like a mother and will actually lift you off the ground. Launching in a tall dense forest would be tough, but the same goes for a balloon. You'd just have to find a small clearing. You don't need much room, and you don't have to have a friend hold it while you run away, like the delta kites we all had as kids. Of course, if you had dead still skies with zero breeze, then it wouldn't work.

Note: To those who don't know kite designs, simple "parafoils" fly themselves. "Sleds", which are often advertised side by side with parafoils, not so much. Many kite designs require you to "fly" them (e.g., don't get a multi-line "stunt" parafoil). Get a simple single-line parafoil for stake-it-and-leave-it signaling use. As with any kite, the stronger the wind, the higher the angle it will fly at.

Plus, it's really relaxing to launch this kite, stake it or sit down on the string and just lay there in the grass, gazing up at the bright colors against the sky.


#282421 - 10/10/16 07:20 PM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: haertig]
hikermor Online   content
Geezer in Chief

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 6347
Loc: southern Cal
I'm hiking along and I see your parafoil. How do I know whether you are in distress or simply relaxing, enjoying the contrast of the colored parafoil against the blue sky?

For the same weight, wouldn't a PLB be much more effective? For less weight, how about a good whistle or a signal mirror?
Geezer in Chief

#282423 - 10/10/16 07:39 PM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: hikermor]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 1975
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I'm hiking along and I see your parafoil. How do I know whether you are in distress or simply relaxing, enjoying the contrast of the colored parafoil against the blue sky?

A balloon doesn't say "distress" any more than a kite does. I was just offering an alternate to the balloon that started this thread.

A lone hiker, that had no idea that anyone might be in distress, would probably ignore a kite or a balloon. But maybe a SAR team, that was actively looking for someone in the area, might investigate, I don't know. At the very least, a kite might serve to draw attention towards your area, where you could use better signalling methods. If a search plane pilot is looking at your kite wondering if you're just out relaxing, then they're already looking in the correct direction for you to flash them with your signal mirror.

#282437 - 10/11/16 05:29 AM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: hikermor]
rafowell Offline

Registered: 11/29/09
Posts: 212
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: hikermor
I'm hiking along and I see your parafoil. How do I know whether you are in distress or simply relaxing, enjoying the contrast of the colored parafoil against the blue sky?

It's not a sure thing, since the passersby might not be familiar with
( Orange flag with black square above a black circle)

However, the Sky-Alert Parafoil Rescue Kite
tries to answer that objection by conforming to that distress-flag pattern.

Originally Posted By: hikermor

For the same weight, wouldn't a PLB be much more effective? For less weight, how about a good whistle or a signal mirror?

I'm unclear on the weight of this item, and I agree about the PLB and other items. One other claim made for this is that it will loft a strobe, which could be handy in the appropriate circumstances.
A signal mirror should be backup for a 24 hr, all-weather radio distress signal, such as a 406 MHz PLB (ACR PLB)

#283264 - 01/07/17 11:31 PM Re: RescueMe Balloon [Re: rafowell]
WesleyH Offline

Registered: 05/26/16
Posts: 79
Just wanted to offer my two cents on this matter. The ResQme balloon has been listed as a GoFundMe sort of account for quite some time. Another fellow and I had looked into it as it seemed dormant. Indeed it was. Emails to the persons linked with the project went unanswered. A little investigation showed that the original patent listed on the page had expired.

A little investigation showed that simular products ARE CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET.

A little research will turn them up. The particular pinterest and other items related need to be deleted as they have been abandoned for some time.


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