It’s something often said to loved ones as they walk out the door and journey into the world. You hear “be safe”, it’s warm and caring and resonates in the back of your mind throughout the day. You say “be safe” and hope it lifts your friends and family over and above danger and out of harm’s way. To think a simple phrase could actually make a vital impact on those around us, is it really that crazy? The quick utterance of two words as one departs…could it make them think twice about safety precautions…about driving responsibly…or wearing a life vest? Well, we’re convinced it works…and works well.
The concept behind Lifeshirt was inspired on a fateful afternoon when a beautiful day at the beach almost turned tragic for the Poma family. As a father and son played together in moderate surf at the sandy shoreline, it took mere seconds for the young boy to disappear below the rolling waves, only to resurface 20 yards out, then 30 yards and beyond, screaming in panic. The swift reaction of a nearby lifeguard avoided a horrible tragedy on this day, but this is not always the result for thousands of unfortunate water enthusiasts around the world.
It was this harrowing event that led Rosario Poma, an entrepreneur from Florida, to devote efforts in finding a solution – so parents wouldn’t have to suffer the heartbreak of losing a loved one, like he almost did. He contacted a product designer and waterman, to craft a “shirt that inflates when you pull a handle”. The concept resonated as they had seen a fair share of water related injuries and near injuries growing up on the coast in Florida.
The challenge was accepted. Research indicated that although many types of personal flotation devices exist, they weren’t being widely used because they were just too uncomfortable. Impractical. While new technologies and materials have developed to design and create tech-age flotation devices, it appeared the industry was slow to respond. Where’s the urgency? People are losing their lives by the thousands. We’ve got to devote ourselves to this project…and so we did.
Along the way…we started thinking about a catch phrase that could help inspire a tone of safety, not just around water environments but in general. Sometimes the best solution is the most obvious one. BE SAFE, be safe….be safe. Try it, say it, it works.