On beaches which are so popular and dangerous as to warrant lifeguards, I’m concerned that the whole lifesaving thing relies on having beefy swimmers plough out through the waves to reach anyone in trouble.
Rather than waste this time, today’s invention is a tall, whippy tower with a rotating hinge mechanism at the bottom, unlike the normal watchtowers.
A lifeguard would perch at the top of this so as to be able to scan a very significant length of beach. On spotting someone in difficulties, the tower could be pointed in the right direction and allowed to hinge forward -throwing the guard more than 50 yards offshore and thus greatly speeding his or her rescue attempts.
If necessary, a line could link guard to the gantry, enabling both saved and saviour to be lifted ashore fast.