Scientists from MIT (USA) have developed a method for finding special "trap zones" in the ocean. These are local areas where, with a high probability, waves and wind will bring floating objects caught in the water in a certain area. The method was named TRAPS (TRansient Attracting Profiles) and experimental proof of its effectiveness.
The oceanic "traps" themselves are not stationary, they are simply areas where a floating object is more likely to be carried than carried away from there. They entirely depend on the current weather, the nature of sea waves and a number of other conditions, but the discovery of scientists is that these factors can be put into several formulas. And on their basis, calculate where and when the next trap is formed.
In their experiments, the researchers launched free-floating beacons of various shapes, including mannequins of people in life jackets. They collected and analyzed images of rough seas in the vicinity from the point where the beacons were thrown into the water to calculate where traps were forming nearby. Then the drift routes of objects were tracked using GPS trackers, and as a result, almost all targets reached the calculated traps, where they were caught.
The new algorithm will go into service with the coast guard and rescuers to make it easier for them to find and rescue people who are overboard. Instead of combing the sea, they can immediately calculate the meeting place and pick up victims at a mathematically calculated point.