Prof. John Rizvi, Esq.
National Patent Attorney
My client Troy Faletra knows how to beat the odds both in life and in business. Although I helped patent his remarkable product, the first inflatable throwable device approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, the story behind ThrowRaft is even more incredible.
The genesis for the idea occurred one Friday afternoon, 10 miles offshore Fort Lauderdale’s idyllic beaches when his fishing boat began slowing down and taking on water. Within minutes, his hull sinking, he was forced to send out a Mayday distress call.
Quickly grabbing the orange square cushion ring buoy and a few personal items, he jumped into the ocean. Incredulously, he watched helpless as his vessel sank rapidly beneath the waves. His long attachment to the sea as surfer and fisherman led him to action: He could not wait for help; he had to swim to shore. With the aid of a mask and snorkel he put his head and swam, and swam, and swam.
Sixteen hours later Troy did the impossible. He made it back to land, This incident, along with uncanny similar events later in his life gave him his million dollar idea: The square cushion, along with his ocean experience, had helped save his life. But its large size and awkward configuration had slowed him down. There had to be a better way. He slowly pictured his idea: a self-inflating raft that could be used in any boating emergency. But it had to be small enough to be kept on any boat.
Much smaller than the unwieldy square cushion buoy. Once inflated, it would keep you out of the water until a rescue team arrived or you could swim safely to shore.
Marine Inventor & Patent Holder
In the darkest moment of my life John said something insightful to me: “You get one damn go around in this life, one. Make it count!” I needed to hear those words as I had lost my best friend, my dad, my wife, - literally months apart. What drove me was my invention. I never quit - you can never quit because quitting is just too damn easy!
or the next several years, Troy poured his heart and soul into perfecting the device, working on CO2 canisters, self-inflation mechanics, visibility colors for search and rescue, and especially making it SMALL. Troy perfected the prototype, Survivor, weighing in at just three pounds and taking up 5 times less space than the square cushion.
Just pull a trigger to inflate it. Or just “throw” it into the water to self-inflate. Troy had essentially created an entirely new water safety segment in the marine sector for his device which he initially priced at $129.99. “It was very, very tough to stay motivated and keep going” Said Troy. “Once I got U.S Coast Guard approval my company took off. That was a key event since the USCG was certifying that my device met all carriage requirements for all registered vessels in America. We’ve already sold over 700 units - we’re growing rapidly.”
“I now have five employees, two outside sales reps and all the local fire departments are using my product. Ten counties in Florida have purchased Survivor and I am about to head up to Boston to negotiate a 57 country, 146 distribution channel. I’m about to hit the super Grand Slam!”
I am thrilled to have helped Troy secure multiple worldwide patents for his device, including additional trademarks. His stellar success shows how rewarding both the journey and the destination can be for those inventors who stick to their guns and make their idea a reality.