Syrian woman develops GPS-equipped lifejacket

  • Wednesday 14, March 2018 in 11:19 AM
Sharjah24 – Reuters: A Syrian refugee living in Jordan develops a lifejacket with a GPS tracking device, hoping it will save the lives of migrants attempting the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean. Angela Moore reports.

When in danger, this lifejacket will not only help keep you afloat in the water. Its embedded GPS will also alert the coastguard to your location.

It's the idea of Syrian refugee Siba Obeid.

Her prototype will automatically send a message for help to the nearest coastguard when it becomes submerged in wate.

Haunted by images of people drowning at sea and motivated by her father's own plans to migrate to Europe by boat, Obeid sought to make a hi-tech lifejacket. 

Syrian refugee Siba Obeid living in Jordan, saying: "My father decided to migrate by sea, so I started imagining if, God forbid, I woke up to the news that my dad has drowned and no one was able to help him. What state would I be in? I would definitely be devastated; I would feel the pain of all those who were at sea. So I kept thinking until I came up with the idea of the smart lifejacket, which if you fall into the sea while wearing, will send for the coast guard and may protect you from sharks. It could provide you with means to get to the shore safely."

But building the prototype was no easy task. 

Working from a refugee camp in the mostly landlocked kingdom of Jordan, Obeid applied repeatedly for grant money to help develop her design.

Eventually, a science competition provided her with the technical support she needed to construct the jacket.

Her design also helped her secure a scholarship to a university in Jordan to study computer science.

She hopes soon to be reunited with her father who is currently in Austria.