Houseboat builder turns his attention to tsunami survival pods
By Ben Coxworth
September 19, 2012
Australian houseboat builder Matt Duncan was stunned when he saw footage of the Japanese tsunami on television. He was so taken aback, in fact, that he decided to do something to help people survive future tsunamis. The result is his Tsunami Survival Pod (TSP), and you can buy one of your own for AUS$8,500, or about US$8,900.
The floating watertight TSP is made from 4mm spiral welded steel, has a crush capacity of four tonnes (4.4 tons), and features impact-absorbing crumple zones. It accommodates four people in five-point harnessed safety seats, and can reportedly hold enough air to last those passengers for two and a half hours. It has a main hatch and a bottom-mounted secondary hatch (in case it ends up upside-down), both of which open inward to avoid being blocked by external debris. Each of those hatches also feature a one-inch-thick window, to help minimize claustrophobia.
The pod has a streamlined design, to keep it from getting snagged on debris or other objects. Should it avoid all the snags and end up getting washed out to sea, its flashing exterior lights ought to help attract rescuers. Once they find it, its integrated lifting hooks should help it be hoisted by a helicopter or ship-mounted crane.
Food rations, blankets and safety helmets are also included in the package.
Four small wheels on the bottom allow it to be pushed around by hand on smooth surfaces (such as driveways), and it’s said to be small enough to fit in a typical garage or carport. If you don’t think it’s worth keeping a TSP in your garage on the off chance that you’ll experience a tsunami, however, take note – Duncan says that it can also be used as an earthquake shelter. You also might be interested in checking out the Japanese Noah capsule.