Extending the life of Rescuerunner over the winter season

by Maria Björklund

Subject Rescue
Status Finished
Results Concept
Owner Type Students

What is Rescuehover?

The basis for my thesis project in product design was to come up with a concept to increase the ways of using the Swedish Sea Rescue Society´s existing rescue unit RescueRunner. As my research took place during the snowy winter of 2012 in Sweden, I soon realised that many sea rescue stations where shut down as the sea turned into ice. But nevertheless, there was a great need for sea rescue. I started to examine whether the smartness in Rescuerunner could allow the unit to be transformed into something else. Into something that could travel on ice. The result? Designing a new costume for Rescuerunner, transforming it to a hovercraft in order to achieve cost-efficient and flexible sea rescue in both ice and water 365 days a year.


Over the last couple of years, the Swedish Sea Rescue Society has obtained a great number of adapted water scooters, called Rescuerunners, and acknowledges the great potential in this cost-efficient and flexible rescue unit. As the unit is becoming increasingly popular, I wanted to examine how to increase the ways of using it. My research showed that a great problem for Swedish sea rescue stations is that very few have the possibility to carry out sea rescue on ice. Meanwhile, activities on ice, such as touring skating, are very popular during winter season. My question came down to: How can Rescuerunner be transformed to something that could travel on ice and allow sea rescue 365 days a year?


Rescuehover_700_new        Rescuehover_700 Above_rescuehover_700Rescuehover_700

Back_rescuehover_700_new         Front_rescuehover_700

Using the inner cassette of Rescuerunner and adding a new hull will transform the unit into a hovercraft. Into Rescuehover. This way the Swedish Sea Rescue Society can utilize existing resources and allow a great number of Swedish sea rescue stations to carry out sea rescue 365 days a year. Ultimately, this will save lives. Rescuehover is specifically designed to carry out sea rescue on ice. The following features have been considered when designing the new hull:

  • Openings in the back of the rescue unit to make it easier to pull up the person in need.
  • Carefully calculated placements of handles to help the person in need pulling oneself up and, if possible, hold onto during the ride.
  • High sides and windscreen to give wind protection for both driver and person in need.
  • Floor heating for the person in need to prevent hypothermia.
  • Visible emergency lights to signal that help is on its way.
  • Room for a spineboard in the back of the rescue unit.
  • Pockets for storing equipment in both the back and the front of the rescue unit.
  • Enable communication and control between driver and person in need through mirrors.
  • Facilitate transformation of the unit by lifting the inner cassette from above.

Who is behind the project?

I am a Swedish designer now based in Stockholm, focusing on service design. Rescuehover was a part of my thesis project in product design at Malmö University in 2012. It could never have been done without the great collaboration with the Swedish Sea Rescue Society.


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