Dyeing the Ocean

The Rotarian, lokakuu 1945

Of various schemes for attracting attention to airmen downed at sea, the one finally adopted and now in use is a dye marker, a little waterproof bagful of uranine, the sodium salt of fluorescein. A pound of this remarkable dye will spread out over the water surface of a good acre, painting it a brilliant greenish-yellow color which will last for several hours ad is plainly visible to planes flying high above. This dye can also be dropped in fragile containers from planes and blimps to mark the surface for patrol vessels when an enemy submarine has been sighted from the air. It is also used in medicine and to detect life. A small amount of it injected back of a person's ear will show up in the eye and on the lips in a few seconds if he is alive. It is particularly useful on the battlefield to tell actual (cellular) death from apparent (somatic) death.

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