Over the past few months, we've been covering some noteworthy contenders for the prestigious James Dyson Award for student design innovation. This week, the global winner was finally announced – the LONGREACH Buoyancy Deployment System, best described as a lifesaver bazooka.

The Australian entry, brainchild of industrial design student Samuel Adeloju, presents a portable system for drowning victim rescue via a rapidly deployed water-activated buoyancy device made out of hydrophobic, instantaneously expanding foam. The sytem allows victims to remain afloat until rescue personnel reaches them and pulls them to safety.

The easy-to-operate device can be propelled nearly 500 feet and is equipped with a light attracting attention to the victim's location.

Adeloju takes home a £10,000 grand prize matched by an equal sum awarded to his department at the University of New South Wales.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.