‘A better way’: Lafayette man develops safety lights, app for recreational boaters – The Advocate

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It was during the early days of the COVID-19 shutdown that Lafayette resident Brian Signorelli came up with the idea that would grow into Basin Boat Lighting.

Signorelli, 61, went fishing early one morning in the Atchafalaya Basin and, as he held a light in one hand and operated the throttle with the other, his boat struck a stump. The impact caused his hand to shift the throttle into full gear, launching the boat into a wooded area.

“Next thing I know, I hit the tree, ” Signorelli said. “And it was kind of stuck in me: There’s got to be a better way. ”

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Brian Signorelli, owner of Basin Boat Lighting, is pictured Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at his business in Broussard, La.

Signorelli, a registered nurse and medical fraud investigator by trade, got to work developing smart lights and other safety accessories for boats. He launched Basin Boat Lighting in April 2021.  

His line associated with SmartBird bow lights include USB ports to keep phones charged and add-ons to alert rescuers in case of emergency. The latest feature, which launched this week, is a smartphone app called appBird that can share the GPS coordinates of a boater inside distress with emergency services and personal contacts.

“Crazy things happen, ” Signorelli said. “If you go to turn that key and it won’t start, and you haven’t seen somebody in a hour, that’s scary. How do you tell somebody where you are? ”

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Brian Signorelli, owner of Basin Boat Lighting, demonstrates how his app called appBird works Wednesday, December 28, 2022, at his business in Broussard, La.

Signorelli’s answer is to push the S. O. S. button in appBird.

Upon activation, the particular app notifies Basin Boat Lighting’s team of the emergency. It works in a similar way as a home or business alarm that’s activated. Basin Boat Lighting staff responding to an S. O. S. activation first attempt to reach the boater. If unsuccessful  — or even if the emergency is confirmed  — calls are usually made to  911 and the emergency contact identified by the boater in the application. The boater’s last known GPS coordinates are also sent to first responders, and the SmartBird’s visual and audible distress signals are activated.

There were 4, 439 recreational boating incidents in 2021 that resulted inside 658 deaths, 2, 641 injuries and about $67. 5 million in property damage, according to a Coast Guard report .

“It’s just tragic, ” Signorelli said. “These are dads that didn’t make it home after a day associated with fishing. ”

Signorelli, a veteran of the U. S. Navy, said his line associated with products meets or exceeds the Coast Guard’s standards.

Although this individual has a Broussard shop, the bulk of Signorelli’s sales have taken place online or at festivals.

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Brian Signorelli, owner of Basin Boat Lighting, holds his cell phone with his app called appBird open Wed, December 28, 2022, in his business in Broussard, La.

“The response has been incredible, ” Signorelli stated.   “Boaters and kayakers have never been offered anything like this. We just continue to run over each some other. ”

Learn more about Basin Motorboat Lighting at basinboatlighting. com .

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