The original question addressed in the scientific review was What is the most effective piece of rescue equipment for a lay responder to throw to a person in trouble in water? and the modified question was rephrased as What are the most effective types of aquatic rescue equipment for a layperson/bystander to use to rescue a drowning person? To thoroughly analyze the main question, the following sub-questions were examined: What are the most accurate and buoyant types of devices? What specific equipment is best for quick rescues? What specific equipment can be grasped most easily by drowning victims? This research topic is a valid area of inquiry because drowning is a serious public health issue which disproportionately impacts diverse populations (e.g., young children (1-4 years of age; adolescents and young adults (ages 15-24 years); minorities (African-Americans, Hispanics/Latinos) (CDC, 2017). Participation in unsupervised recreational aquatic environments remains popular and fairly constant; the need exists to identify the types of aquatic rescue equipment for layperson/bystanders to perform effective rescues. Answering the main question of this review has implications for identifying appropriate pedagogies and educational practices for water safety and learn to swim programs which will be addressed in separate reviews.