Swimming Buddy Fights to Stay Afloat

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

Invention improves safety for young swimmers.

Local law enforcement and some members of the state senate hope Armando Rositas' invention catches on.

It's called the "Swimming Buddy" and is a colored styrofoam buoy that attaches to life jackets.  They bob up behind the swimmer to make them more visible in the water for boaters and jet skiers.

The safety product seemed to be gaining ground slowly but surely after Rositas put on a demonstration for local rescue teams and police personnel.

"They couldn't officially endorse it, but they told me to keep pursuing it," said Rositas, who added that the Senate Natural Resources Committee gave him the same response this past summer.

Rositas, of Lansing, hoped to have it available for swimmers this summer, but a potential spot in Meijer stores is iffy.  It seems newer life jackets don't have the needed back strap where the "Swimming Buddy" would attach. 

"If that's the case then I'll have to redesign it," said Rositas.  "There's still millions of old vests it will work for."

He's still hopeful though, after selling a hundred or so at this year's boat show and dreams of getting them in marinas around the state and maybe even a spot on shopping channel QVC.

You can learn more about the "Swimming Buddy" at www.swimmingbuddy.com.


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