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Lifeguard stations should be equipped with a harpoon-type gun that can be used to shoot a wide, circular raft (about 20 feet in diameter) beyond someone who's drowning. The raft would inflate on impact and could be pulled back in towards the victim using an electric reel attached to the harpoon gun. Since they make life preservers now with straps on them that can enclose any limb a person can stick through them, the raft should also come equipped with these straps. This would also let a second swimmer be rescued at the same time - perhaps someone who'd tried to rescue the first victim and wound up in trouble themselves.