Design graduate’s final year project could prove a lifesaver

Thu, 06/19/2014 - 9:43am

An End to Killer “Lifelines”?
SUTTON design graduate Samuel Harris’s final year project — a life-saving quick-release device — was selected for the prestigious Made in Brunel Exhibition on London’s South Bank last week. (June 12 – 15).

The former Cheam High School pupil, 23, devised the system after successive news stories about rescue divers becoming trapped by their own lifelines and drowning.

Samuel said: “Although all rescuers carry a knife in case the lifeline gets entangled, divers carry so much kit they can find it hard to lay their hands on it, or, because they work in such confined spaces, just simply can’t reach it.

“With my device, which is always within hands reach, it’s a simple tug of the locking pin and a push of a lever.”

The device has undergone dynamic, static and user testing to ensure the user can entrust their life to it.

Samuel added: “I’ve had a lot of interest from the military as the system acts as a safety device when special forces ‘fast rope’ from a helicopter. In plain English that means they slide down a rope holding on through asbestos gloves.

“Other safety devices on the market take up to 20 seconds to release – that’s a lifetime under enemy fire, making soldiers sitting ducks. My system’s release time is a fraction of a second.”

The Made in Brunel Exhibition, a showcase of work by Brunel University's brightest minds, took place between Thursday June 12 and Sunday June 15 inclusive, at the Barge House, Oxo Tower Wharf, London SE1 9PH. Further details from



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