A Mukilteo-based manufacturer of tsunami survival capsules has made its first domestic sale to an Ocean Park woman.
Jeanne Johnson took possession Jan. 18 of the bright orange sphere at her home on the Long Beach Peninsula. She lives within feet of the Pacific Ocean.
The sphere, manufactured by Survival Capsule, holds two people and is designed to float if a large wave sweeps it up.
The Long Beach Peninsula is flat and highly susceptible to the devastating effects of a tsunami after a major earthquake off the coast.
Evacuation to higher ground could take 20 minutes on the best of days. During a mass evacuation, roads could be jammed.
“People panic, and I don’t want to be caught up in the panic,” Johnson told Northwest News Network correspondent Tom Banse.
The $13,500 sphere uses aircraft design principles and materials. Survival Capsule president Julian Sharpe is a former Boeing aircraft designer.
Standard features include seats with straps, air and water tanks, and a GPS system.
Buyers can store them inside or outside, tethered or free standing.
Sharpe and his team have put the capsule through a number of tests, including dropping it over Palouse Falls in eastern Washington. The 1,000 pound-sphere hit the water at 75 mph, Sharpe said.
Aside from Johnson, all the other sales — eight — have been to customers in Japan, where a tsunami in 2011 killed more than 15,000 people.
The capsule has a locator beacon. But if customers expect a long delay before rescue, they can upgrade with a surround sound music system.