After tragedy, US Olympic champion joins Israeli pool safety start-up

"I was shocked that there weren’t products on the market that could help mitigate drowning risk," said Miller.

May 22, 2019 17:49
2 minute read.
The Coral Manta system designed by Coral Detection Systems

The Coral Manta system designed by Coral Detection Systems. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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Nearly one year after legendary American alpine skier Bode Miller’s daughter tragically drowned in a neighbor’s pool, the Olympic and World Championship gold medalist has joined Coral Detection Systems, the Haifa-based developer of a private pool drowning detection system.

Miller and his wife, Morgan, have dedicated significant efforts to building pool safety awareness since they shared the news that their 19-month-old daughter, Emeline, had drowned in their neighbor’s backyard pool in June 2018..

Olympic skier Bode Miller poses after an interview in New York June 15, 2015 (Credit: SHANNON STAPLETON/ REUTERS)

The six-time Winter Olympics medalist, recognized as the most successful male American alpine ski racer of all time, will join the company as a co-owner and board adviser.

“I was shocked that there weren’t products on the market that could help mitigate drowning risk,” said Miller.

“The technology and expertise didn’t exist before the last decade, and I’m really excited to be part of the movement to employ modern tech to save lives. In partnering with Coral Detection Systems, Morgan and I feel like we have the responsibility and opportunity to help other parents avoid the tragedy of losing a child to drowning the way we did.”

 Bode Miller of the U.S. participates in the final training session for the men's downhill event at the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup in the Austrian alpine skiing resort of Kitzbuehel January 22, 2015 (Credit: LEONHARD FOEGER / REUTERS)

Coral Detection Systems was established in 2014 by homeland security expert Eyal Golan and computer vision specialist Dr. Tamar Avraham.
Their first-of-its-kind, patent-pending Coral Manta 3000 system constantly “watches” and detects movement in private pools using a built-in underwater video camera, computer vision and artificial intelligence technology.

When it identifies a potential drowning situation, it sounds an ear-piercing alarm and immediately sends a smartphone alert to all household members.

Medical professionals believe irreversible brain damage starts to occur after approximately five minutes without oxygen.

“We are honored to have Bode Miller join our cause to help raise awareness and generate productive dialogue about the vital issue of private pool safety,” said Golan.

The Coral Manta system designed by Coral Detection Systems (Courtesy)

“In many cases, children drown even though the parent or a designated chaperone is nearby, but drowning is quick and silent and can be missed by only a few seconds. Emeline’s story, along with many others, shows how necessary this technology is.”

Two months after Golan and Avraham started developing the product, two 10-year-old girls – Coral Sheri and Or Koren – drowned in a private swimming pool in Savyon. The company was named in their memory.

The company’s system primarily relies on solar power, operates 24/7 and has undergone rigorous testing to ensure it is fully waterproof, resistant to swimming pool chemicals and can withstand both soaring summer temperatures and freezing winter weather.

Other pool alarms currently on the market aim to prevent unauthorized access rather than operating when people are actually using the pool, said Golan. Most drownings occur, however, when access to the pool is allowed.

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