Innovation Pipeline

Innovation Pipeline
thumbnail imageStudent invents flotation buoy for power sport vehicles

Jordan Darling, a third-year mechanical engineering technology major from Oswego, N.Y., knew there had to be a better way than spending hundreds of dollars to locate his sunken jet ski in Lake Ontario. Last summer, it took five days of searching with family and friends and ultimately renting a helicopter to locate his ski in eight feet of murky water. So Darling invented a flotation buoy called the Retriever. The buoy is a pouch with a 50-foot polypropylene rope coiled inside. The end of the rope is connected to a vehicle like a jet ski and the pouch is secured with Velcro.

Should the vehicle start sinking, the operator can detach the device and deploy it, leaving the marker floating on top of the water to make retrieval easier. The Retriever will also work on a snowmobile or ATV.

Darling recently demonstrated how the Retriever worked when he and his friends put a jet ski in the RIT pool.

Production has begun on the Retriever, which sells for $59.99. Darling plans to sell the device at boat shows and watercraft competitions. To learn more, go to

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