After CJ's and my conversation this weekend about his spotting me when I swim and what safety equipment to use, I did some research.
We want something that is 1) inexpensive, 2) light weight, 3) easy to use, and 4) effective (not necessarily in that order.)
A ring buoy is an obvious choice. But it would have the drawback of being big and bulky, not to mention dorky. I just don't see CJ walking along the shore, following me, with a ring buoy over his shoulder. He isn't a lifeguard, just a husband who doesn't want to feel helpless if his partner is needing assistance.
So then we discussed a throw bag. The throw bag has the advantage of being light weight, easy to use, and easy for him to store in a backpack or other bag. This is likely the option we are going to go with. CJ was worried about the ease of use for this for a rescue. I showed him a few articles, mostly focused on kayaksers, and he's agreed that this could work.
The plan now is to do a little more research and make a purchasing decision. I'll keep things updated when it comes in.