WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — Lifeguards in Westerly will soon be equipped with remote-controlled buoys they can deploy to help swimmers in distress.
Lisa Konicki, executive director of the Westerly-Pawcatuck Area Chamber of Commerce, tells WTIC-TV the beaches will be the first in the region to use the EMILY system.
EMILY is an acronym for Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard. It is a 4-foot motorized buoy that can travel up to 24 mph and be sent by remote control to swimmers caught in a rip tide or other dangerous situation.
The price tag for two buoys and training is about $23,000. The town of Westerly is spending $10,000. The rest is being covered by contributions from the chamber, the Rotary Club and private donors.
Konicki calls that a relatively small investment for public safety.