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Illuminated Water Rescue Rope

Victim can see rescue rope in low visibilty conditions
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In marine or swift water rescue the victim may only get one chance to clutch the rope of their salvation. At night or in heavy weather it can be very difficult to see that rope. Electroluminescent wire (link) can be woven into normal rescue rope so that it can be easily seen from a distance.

Glow-in-the-dark rope (link) is baked, but not adequate for this application because in needs to 'energized' with a bright light, it fades quickly and it's just not bright enough.

This rope would also be popular at Burning-Man.

CecilL, Oct 04 2005

Cool Neon electroluminescent wire http://www.coolneon.com/
[CecilL, Oct 04 2005]

Glow Rope http://www.riskreac...egory_Code=GLOWROPE
Hmm, they claim this one glows for 'hours' [CecilL, Oct 04 2005]

Phosphorescence http://en.wikipedia...iki/Phosphorescence
[calum, Oct 05 2005]

Phosphorus http://www.webeleme...nts/text/P/key.html
At least it wouldn't dissolve in the water... [coprocephalous, Oct 05 2005]

sorry, I was thinking of sodium http://www.pc.chemi...nglish/v44-1-1.html
phosphorous would need contact with air though, so the central hollow wouldn't work. [po, Oct 06 2005]

El Wire Basics http://www.glowire....ire_information.htm
My handheld ElWire runs off a battery. Evidently it is indeed stepped to 120AC! [CecilL, Oct 06 2005]

Australia: www.coatedglowropes.com http://www.coatedgl...es.com/products.htm
10hrs, glowing material applied at intervals, a lot cheaper than the "Glow Rope" link above. [jutta, Oct 23 2005]

Radioluminescent rope https://www.orau.or...uminescent/rope.htm
Only in America ... [8th of 7, Dec 03 2018]


       Its very hard to see anything at or just below the surface of the water when your in the water.
Antegrity, Oct 05 2005

       Perhaps the rope could be imbued with white phosphorus, and would give off a strong, bright shine even if immersed in water. It would need to be ignited before being thrown.
bungston, Oct 05 2005

       would it be safe to grab, bung?
po, Oct 05 2005

       Or you could make a rope out of sodium metal and toss it into people.
Antegrity, Oct 05 2005

       This is a very good idea.   

       //would it be safe to grab, bung?//
Safer than drowning, presumably. The phosphor could be contained within a central hollow of a clear rope, perhaps.
calum, Oct 05 2005

       doesn't it need contact with the water to react?   

       got to bun the concept though.
po, Oct 05 2005

       Um, I don't know. That's chemistry. But a cursory google suggests that it wouldn't. >link<
calum, Oct 05 2005

       I like the idea of glowing rope, but something about tossing an AC powered line to someone in the water doesn’t seem right.
Shz, Oct 06 2005

       It wouldn’t be much of a rescue aid if it electrocuted people, but so long as it’s safe, bun.
Shz, Oct 06 2005

       excuse me!?, [fqhwgads] you seem to know about this. would you elaborate. thank you   

       reminds me of 20 questions. animal, veg or magic?
po, Oct 06 2005

       It is a little scary, [po]. It takes around 100VAC to glow brightly. Varying voltage and frequency are a mechanism to change color, mostly. It’s shielded so the phosphor doesn’t come in contact with moisture. Tugging on it, or other such handling likely exceeds design specs.
Shz, Oct 06 2005

       The load-bearing hurdles would likely be overcome by use of sturdy modern materials for the rope (perhaps a durable mylar weave). Also, the upper half could be a different material, using ideal toughness and elasticity to compensate for the luminous lower portion. I think for use in saving lives the cost would be worthwhile. Good idea (bun+).
Whirligig, Apr 21 2006

       Hm, [fqhwgads] vaporized. Maybe he tried it?
Shz, Apr 21 2006

       Well I know in the current environmental paranoia this suggestion might get shot down in real life, but why not take run of the mill glow in the dark rope and lace it with something radioactive to eliminate the need to energize it? Tritium watches and emergency lights were available until a couple years ago. I have a couple tritium watches, the dials are dimmer than their old radium counterparts (I found one of those at an antique store once) but they are adequate at night when your eyes are already used to the dark. Also, I would think that the amount of radioactive material could be increased for a rescue device like this.
brewer, Apr 21 2006

       There is no danger associated with electroluminescent rope other than reduced strength. Yes it requires high voltages, but only a very tiny current. Not even enough to give you a painful shock if you were to touch a severed end.   

       Phosphorous will not work. The glowing is actually a spontaneous combustion reaction, and is inhibited by water. If it were to be fully ignited by burning wreckage, it would completely destroy the rope. Sodium of course would be pointless and deadly.   

       Phosphorescence is the best bet. Modern europium doped compounds glow very brightly, and last for a full twelve hours. It can be recharged during the day.   

       Radioactive fluorescence is another viable option. If properly made, all alpha, beta, and gamma particles can be contained. Cheap high intensity phosphors can be made in any colour, and will last decades without noticeably fading.   

       For those who are confused, phosphors are chemicals that exhibit fluorescence or phosphorescence, while phosphorus the element does not.
Aq_Bi, Apr 22 2006

       You can also charge GITD materials very rapidly using xenon flashlamps. (That's what the Nerf Firefly does, IIRC.) Just store your glow rope in a box with a few flashlamps built in, ideally on some kind of holder that spaces out the coil so the light can get to all of the rope, and fire the flash when you're approaching the rescue site. For rescue vehicles, put the flashbox in the vehicle. For rescuers on foot/bike/kayak/etc., put it at whatever base, and use it to charge the ropes before going. Or use LEDs and wait a minute or two to charge it.
notexactly, Dec 03 2018

       // why not take run of the mill glow in the dark rope and lace it with something radioactive to eliminate the need to energize it? //   

       The U.S. Navy alread tried that. <link>
8th of 7, Dec 03 2018


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