David Brodie - Survivor
I had first-hand experience using Life Cell not long after buying it, in February 2016. I was on an annual fishing trip to South west Rocks and travelling on my boat with three other mates on this particular day. We've been doing this trip for about the past 15 years and in that time I've done the bar crossing many, many times, at least 50 times each way. I would say that I was experienced with the crossing although it is always changing.
After a morning of fishing, the conditions outside started to turn so we headed in towards shore. We stopped at the front of the bar crossing and put on our lifejackets and observed the conditions for a while. There was another boat also standing off monitoring the conditions. We decided to go and picked up a wave which we were riding in on for approximately half the crossing. The bar was rough and unfortunately a large wave rose out of nowhere and collapsed on the back of the boat. It pushed us forward and we skewed us sideways, losing control of the vessel. Within a matter of seconds the motor was flooded and we were unable to start it. Another wave quickly broke on us and turned the boat over.
We only had moments to get out before the boat sank. As I vacated the boat I grabbed hold of the Life Cell, threw it in the water not far from where the others were treading water. We were right in the impact zone, where the waves were crashing. We all managed to get close to each other. As the current took us into more free water and out of the impact zone, one of the blokes was able to grab the Life Cell and eventually we were all able to hang onto it. Holding onto the Life Cell, we swam our way back towards another boat that was nearby. Luckily we got there safely and managed to get on board. Our boat capsized and sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Unfortunately, two weeks later, another boat capsized in exactly the same circumstances as ours. They were experienced fishermen, and unfortunately one of them passed away on the crossing. It just demonstrates the dangers bar crossings can throw up at you. The wave that sank us came out of nowhere. It was completely unpredictable.
I’m thankful that we had the Life Cell on board, it kept everyone together and helped us stay afloat. It was of great assistance to us.
A few weeks after the incident I was at a boat show when I saw a guy sitting at the bar wearing a Life Cell shirt. I walked up and started a conversation with him and it turned out to be the inventor, Scott Smiles. I said “mate, you saved my life”.
Chief Executive Officer Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter
"I am pleased to be able to support the Life Cell as an integral piece of marine safety equipment. The concept involves the storage of all critical safety equipment in one housing which can be used as a flotation device. I believe the Life Cell is an essential item on any vessel and I have no doubt that lives will be saved as a result of this wonderful innovation. The Life Cell is endorsed by the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters and we share their vision in reducing the number of lives lost at sea"
Boating Tragedy - Morton Island
Would like to share a story with you – in 2015 we were located on the northern end of Morton island. It was about 7am in the morning I was making breakfast on the boat for some children with the intention of taking them for a fish after breakfast. A small boat passed us heading out towards cape Morton. The sea was flat at that time and weather good. About 1 hour later we also headed out as well. About 4 hours later we saw rescue 500 fly over us. upon returning to the boat harbour marina we were told that there was a new boat on its first run that had sunk at cape Morton , the father didn’t make it – the 2 elder children had the epirb and were found floating holding on to the body .
We could not see them due to the building swell - If they had a – life cell – they would have been able to easily float as they didn’t have life jackets on and let of a flare and we would have seen them as we were only about 2 kl away from them and could have helped them. Very sad. 2015-08-09 Rescue 500 Rescues Yarraman man
50 Years of Boating Experience
"We don’t have a life raft on our boat, a Lagoon 400 catamaran. We undertake significant passages but it has always seemed just a bit too expensive and without several tonnes of weight In a keel we’re not going to sink in a hurry. What does give us pause is fire and we have made every endeavour to prevent it. Every sea-person dreads fire, and how fast it happens. Our refuge is our Zodiac and reasonable seamanship and ‘what happens if’ procedures. We have the grab bag and waterproof VHF and PLBs etc but one never knows. It can be so quick. So this fellow, Scott Smiles, comes aboard with a solution and I have put up my hand in a second. I have asked him to sell me the first Life Cell off the line. This is 50- years at sea and some very ugly weather talking. I had no hesitation in buying this affordable safety product on the spot."
Former Australian Cricket Captain and Boating Enthusiast
"This new Marine Safety Product called The Life Cell is a huge step forward in the safety of the boating industry and should definitely reduce the amount of fatalities on our waterways in the future. I know that Scott and Rick have put a lot of time and effort into the development of a top of the range safety product it will be received in the boating industry and it is a product that I would have in my boat for peace of mind for myself and my family"
Manufacturers Representative North America
"It's amazing to watch people try and create products that have a commercial value. But when the focus of the product is really more about an unfulfilled need... that then the market instantly recognizes.... the commercial value is a beneficial afterthought as your product skyrockets to success”.
Brandon Flack - Atlantic Marketing