It was the day after Christmas 2004 when my wife received a call from a relative asking if I was ok. I departed the region a week before, but the big Asian Tsunami rolled right under the my ship creating a massive current that wreaked havoc on the vessel’s navigation system but did no damage to the ship itself. The residents of the nearby town were not so lucky.
As most gCaptain readers know, the safest places to be during a Tsunami are in the air, at sea or high on a hilltop but what if you can’t get there in time? The Japanese company Cosmopower has designed an answer.
Named after the great biblical builder of ships, “Noah” is a capsule designed to help you survive the swift power of a full scale tsunami. Deemed “Watersafe” by its inventors, Noah looks like an oversized fiberglass beachball, but functions more like a 21st century version of the barrels made by daredevils for rolling off Niagra Falls.
While the company doesn’t tell us what materials are used to build Noah, we do know that it measures 4 feet in diameter, can house up to four adults and looks to be well built. Furthermore, it’s designed with dogging watertight door, air vents, and integrated water ballast to keep it floating upright. Not bad for a total cost of approximately $3900USD, but don’t pull out your credit cards just yet, a quick look inside might not meet your expectations.
Once opened, Noah reveals a sparse interior. Inside you won’t find any safety-belts or webbing and there doesn’t seem to be much padding – just a vertical bar which survivors are expected to hold onto while bouncing off buildings and debris. So, if you don’t have the arms of superman, you might want to wait until version 2 comes out or consider an alternative plan like bolting a used diving bell to your basement floor!