Call For Project

Call for help!

How might we help more people sound the alarm?

by Fredrik Falkman, SSRS

Subject Calling for help
Status Planned
Owner Type Rescue organizations

What is Call for Projects – Call for help!?

This call is about helping more people call for help in emergencies at sea or other waters. There are many systems and products available to send distress signals or to call for help, but there is certainly room for improvement.


The problem is global, but we have chosen to limit the scope of this call to “normal” emergencies (small boats, non-mass rescue) in developed nations with good communications infrastructure and estabished sea rescue organizations. We believe that these constraints will make a good solution more likely with a greater chance of implementation. We hope that a solution that works in developed nations can also be of help in the developing world in conjunction with evolving rescue organizations. We believe that an answer to this call is likely human centered. If technology alone were enough, the problem would already be solved. Technology must fit the users to be used. Equipment that you don’t know, don’t maintain, don’t charge, let alone have with you will be of no use when you need it most. Any level of work furthering the field would be appreciated, e.g.:

  • Research into, and and an overview of existing projects, technology and products
  • Ideation about possible solutions
  • Research and development of ideas and technologies that might solve the problem
  • Development of a working prototype
  • A campaign to make business or governments do what’s needed


We take Swedish sea rescue statistics as a starting point for this call, assuming that there are most likely more similarities than differences compared to other developed countries. Two things stand out in the statistics:

  • If you can call for help, you will almost certainly be rescued
  • When mobile phones became common place more people could call for help – and fewer lives were lost

The Swedish Sea Rescue Society has tackled this problem in two main ways:

  • We encourage everybody to call for help before trouble has turned into an emergency, promising to assist anyone for free no matter what’s the matter
  • We encourage people to use waterproof phone cases whenever on the water

But neither of these measures will take us all the way, for some different and some similar reasons. Even if every last person would know about the assistance service, there are instances when trouble comes on fast, when you don’t realize the danger, or when pride delays the call. A Waterproof phone case is a good aid, but only if the phone is inside. For many people geting into the habit of putting the phone in a waterproof case for every occasion on the water is just not going to happen. (This group of people apparently includes me – working actively with water safety for 15 years, and with ample amounts of different cases to try, I still don’t seem to use a case unless I know I’m going to end up in the water) Some phones in the market are actually waterproof – a most welcome development, but again, we cannot trust that people in general will choose a phone based on this feature.


The most obvious solution, albeit a long shot, might be mare waterproof phones. If Apple and other market leaders would commit to making their phones waterproof, and in the process turning it into a feature any manufacturer would have to have for a viable offering, hundreds or thousands of lives would surely be saved every year. International regulations mandating phones to be waterproof would be an other (again long shot) way.

Who is behind the project?

This is a project call from the Innovation office at Swedish Sea Rescue Society, SSRS. The SSRS is a non-profit organization that performs 70% of sea rescues in Sweden thanks to some 2000 volunteers . Our constitution says that we are to:

  • Further the interest in sea rescue matters
  • Propose ways to improve sea rescue
  • Perform sea rescue operations

The person proposing this project is me, Fredrik Falkman. I’m an industrial designer by training working for the SSRS with development projects and general innovation. Beside my work at the SSRS, I run a design consultancy: Fredrik Falkman Design AB, FFD.


If you have any questions about this project, you can send the project owner a message from here.


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