CLEARFIELD, Utah (ABC4) — In an attempt to increase swimmer safety, Clearfield City announced Monday that they will be using new drowning detection technology to enhance lifeguarding.
The drowning detection technology is named the WAVE system. It relies on lightweight, comfortable headsets worn by swimmers. According to a press release, the headset will accurately determine how long the swimmer has been underwater.
The release stated that if the WAVE system is submerged for longer than 20 seconds, a device worn by lifeguards will vibrate to make them aware a swimmer may be in trouble. If the swimmer stays underwater for a dangerous amount of time, the system will use audio-visual alarms to alert lifeguards.
“Alerting lifeguards within this time dramatically decreases the chances of drowning and makes the city’s pools safer,” the press release stated.
Even though Clearfield City’s aquatics facilities have dedicated staff watching over the welfare of people swimming, the risk of drowning is always present. According to the press release, the WAVE system will provide another layer of security.
“Safety is our top priority, and we are doing our best to make sure a drowning never happens in Clearfield,” Clint Warnick, Director of the Clearfield Aquatic & Fitness Center said. “WAVE technology will help keep every child safe in our facility.”
WAVE drowning detection systems were envisioned by Mark Caron and Dave Cutler after a tragedy occurred at a town park where Cutler lived. According to Cutler, a nine-year-old boy drowned despite five lifeguards and six camp counselors watching the water.
Cutler and Caron decided it could have been prevented, and assembled a team of water safety experts, aquatic professionals, engineers, and designers to create a simple and affordable drowning detection system.
“It is 2023. We have the technology that can greatly reduce the chance of a drowning impacting any family,” said WAVE Co-Founder & CEO Mark Caron. “Aquatics directors across the country have told us WAVE is changing the way their lifeguards behave. They’re more focused because the system makes their job more interesting.”