Inventor to test new escape ‘ship’ by going over Niagara falls
A British inventor has made a ‘tsunami survival’ capsule, and is to test it by going over Niagara Falls.
Aerospace engineer Julian Sharpe, 50, believes his disaster-proof pod will save people from tidal waves, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes and super storms.
And he is so confident of the life-saving aluminium ball that he will ride it down the world-famous 167ft waterfall.
He said: ‘We can tell people how strong it is, but until you’ve proved that it’s saved a life they might not believe you.’
Mr Sharpe claims the sphere will protect him from the massive impact, which will be similar to being rear ended by a car at about 20 mph.
He believes the capsule will keep people safe in natural disasters, such as the tsunamis which hit Thailand and Japan.
In a tsunami the main danger is not drowning in the fast flowing water but being crushed by the debris which is swept along.
He said: ‘Since it’s a sphere, when you do run into something it’s just going to glance off.
‘In most cases, you’re probably going to be a bit lighter than those objects so those objects will just go along their way and kind of move you.’
Mr Sharpe was born in Carmarthern, West Wales, but now lives in Seattle in the United States.
The former Boeing engineer has taken his prototypes to the Yokohama Expo in Kanagawa, Japan, and sponsors have commissioned further production.
Now Mr Sharpe and his business partners are hoping to sell different models of the capsule for between $990 and $4950.
He claims the capsule will keep up to six people safe for several hours while it is buffeted by a Tsunami’s powerful wave.
He said: ‘After the tsunami in Japan, we decided we had to develop it and get it out there for the masses.
‘There are 135 countries worldwide exposed to the tsunami wave.
‘If you can save one life, it would be worth producing it.’
Attribution: James Rush