Japanese engineering company floats new idea for inland flood victims

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The new design for an ‘inland’ lifeboat (left) has more padding than its high-seas cousin

Japanese heavy machinery maker IHI has designed a new lifeboat for ‘inland’ use – set to help protect victims of the increasing number of floods, tsunami and typhoons around the world.

Two self-righting models are set to be built later this year, accommodating 25 and 50 passengers, allowing them to take refuge should flooding threaten them.

Made of lightweight reinforced plastic, it will shield its occupants from devastating natural disasters with bumpers made of foam resin on areas most likely to be hit by debris – keeping its occupants safe even if it slams into a wall at 40kph.
The models cost $85,000 and will be equipped with GPS tracking systems and the optional extra of a motor, with manufacturing set to begin later this year at its factory in Aioi, Japan.

The recent flooding in parts of the UK hardly calls for such dramatic equipment, but it will be interesting to see how many new designs surface for helping the victims of localised flooding.

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