Well here's a clever idea. An Indiegogo campaign for a floatie that pulls a drowner to the surface. It looks like a wild ride -- a bit like flying through the air while hanging on to a helium balloon.
It's called Kingii (kin-JEE), and though it bills itself as a small, wearable, water safety device, it's a pretty whimsical one. If you're in trouble underwater, simply pull a lever and your hand and head fly toward the surface, where you can use the inflatable as a flotation device that stays inflated for up to two days. According to the campaign, it's 78 times smaller than a lifejacket.
The bag is inflated with an internal C02 cartridge that's activated once the lever is pulled. It also comes with a built-in compass and whistle. The inflatable itself is the same hazard orange as a traditional lifejacket, but the non-obtrusive design allows you to swim with it, as well. And provided you stock up on CO2 cartridges, it's completely reusable, just in case you plan on almost drowning all the time.
Kingii has some possible disadvantages compared to a traditional lifejacket: What happens if the user is unconscious, for example? And if you're using it just to swim, does it really stay out of the way?
Even though something makes me feel weird about crowdfunding a safety device, this is definitely a neat idea. I imagine it less of pools than in situations like swimming in rivers or the ocean where currents can get the best of you. If the campaign is successful, I look forward to swimming a deep as i can, and exploding myself to the surface over and over and over again.
GIFs and video via Indiegogo