13-year-old Kaial Hajik in Panama City Beach heard too many stories of people drowning at Florida beaches and decided to use his ingenuity to do something about it.
Kaial and his father, Joe Hajik, say the story of Richard Stacey Redman is a major motivator for the creation of their invention, the LifeBoKx. Redman drowned on Panama City Beach in 2019 attempting to rescue a drowning child. “What we saw is that it’s not just people drowning. It’s actually the pursuers — working to help save these people — that are the ones that are perishing,” Joe Hajik said.
Kaial is a Boy Scout and aspiring Air Force Academy cadet, so he is well versed in safety protocols. He worked with his father to devise an emergency kit prototype called the “LifeBoKx”.
The LifeBoKx contains basic lifesaving equipment and educational material to be positioned along the shoreline of Panama City Beach. The idea, is not just to save those drowning but to also provide resources for those responding to an emergency.
The emergency kit includes some basic water safety elements, such as two life vests and a tethered life preserver. But it also has visual aids including the “Drowning Chain of Survival,” a visual representation from the International Life Saving Federation detailing how to safely respond to a drowning.
The two still have a fair bit of work to see their invention put into practice; LifeBoKx is just an idea for now, but the father-son team envisions positioning the emergency kits throughout the Panama City Beach shoreline. Each kit would be assigned a specific identifier to facilitate a quicker response from lifeguards and emergency personnel to that location.
Wil Spivey, director of the newly created Beach Safety unit for the area, said his team supported Hajik and offered suggestions. Spivey says it offers some useful tools, particularly the educational materials, and the potential to help expedite emergency response. “Prevention and education are really about 95% of what we do as beach safety and lifeguards,” Spivey said. “Thought it a good opportunity to work with Kaial and his idea.”
No one believes that the LifeBoKx would be a replacement to lifeguards and trained emergency responders. That’s not what they are about. This is all about providing the resources that can help save lives. Not just those who are in trouble, but possibly those who go to help them.
After presenting their idea to the local Optimist Club of the Beaches, a national organization dedicated to youth empowerment, Kaial and Joe Hajik plan to present the LifeBoKx to other groups and ultimately to the city council. You can find out more about it in your Good News Story of the Day, here.
For Kaial and Joe Hajik, the idea centers on providing the resources to save lives, both for those needing rescue and rescuers. “If you save one life by doing that, whether it be yours or somebody else… that system is paid for,” Joe Hajik said.
Story and Image from CNN.