Wangara: Hero Water Wear self-inflating rashguard an alternative to lifejackets

Peter Oliver and John Scott with the Rashguard.
Peter Oliver and John Scott with the Rashguard.

TWO northern suburbs men are changing the water safety game.

Peter Oliver of Hillarys and John Scott of Ballajura have created Hero Water Safety Wear – an alternative, everyday option to a lifejacket.

The rashguard has been designed for all water sports and automatically inflates with the pull of its ripcord or can be manually inflated.

And with the change of a bobbin, it can also inflate when it hits the water.

“This means if people are doing an out-of-water activity like fishing or on a boat, they can change the bobbin in the cartridge so it will activate if they fall and hit the water,” Mr Oliver said.

He said they created the vest in response to the amount of unnecessary deaths and drownings.

“We wanted to create something people would wear rather than a bulky lifejacket that is usually stowed away,” he said.

“It is still a life saving device, it meets all the standards of a personal flotation device, but we wanted something people would be happy to wear.”

He said it had been a “long drawn out process” of testing and sampling with more than 200 different vests in their Wangara warehouse to ensure they “got it right”.

That includes using UV rated SPF 50 material to protect from the sun.

Mr Oliver said there was “nothing like this on the market”.

He said they had already received support from Recfishwest, the Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club and the Scarborough Beach Pool and had also received enquiries from NSW’s Department of Primary Industries that covers fisheries and aquaculture.

The shirt and inflatable bladder are re-useable but the cartridge needs to be replaced after activation.