Taipei, May 27 (CNA) Taiwan's defense ministry last week unveiled a new invention -- a line-throwing apparatus powered by high pressure gas -- that can be used to rescue individuals stuck in rivers, the sea and other places, as part of the efforts to fulfill the military's rescue mission.
The new device, whose designs were completed in April, comes in two versions -- a hand-held form and a larger version that is launched from the ground, according to the ministry's Armaments Bureau.
The apparatus can release a rope to the location where victims are stranded and the rope can also be tied with a lifebuoy to rescue victims.
The hand-held version weighs only 4 kilograms and can reach a range of more than 100 meters, while the 11-kilogram on-the-ground equipment can deliver life-rescuing items to a location as far as 230 meters away, said the bureau's Kaohsiung-based 205th Arsenal, which is responsible for the project.
The devices will be used in the event of flooding or seaborne accidents and other disasters, the arsenal added.
Mass production of the new devices is scheduled to begin in the second half of this year, Col. Luo Yi-chung, head of the arsenal, said during a media tour to the arsenal in the southern city.
"We have been asking feedback on the equipment from the military to see if improvements are needed," Luo told CNA, adding that the testing trials are expected to be finished in late June.
The equipment is especially important during the rainy season from May to September, when the likelihood of flooding is higher.
The arsenal began the project to develop the line-throwing apparatus last year, as rescue relief assistance in the event of disasters has become one of the core missions for Taiwan's military, Luo added.
Before the invention, such equipment was often purchased from private companies from home and abroad, he said.
(By Elaine Hou)