The Thunder Child is a revolutionary search and rescue boat that is virtually impossible to capsize. Even when flipped upside down in the water, the vessel is able to right itself almost instantly.
Developed by Irish company Safehaven Marine for use by the Irish Navy in high-pressure situations, the XSV-17 ’Thunder Child’ can reach speeds of up to 54 knots (62 mph), fits a crew of up to 10 people, and is designed to absorb shocks from rough seas. But its most impressive feature is the ability to bounce back into an upright position in any situation, which makes it impossible to capsize.
“It is a combination of three factors: A very low center of gravity, the buoyancy of the cabin and the cabin must also be completely water tight,” Frank Kowalksi, managing director of Safehaven Marine, told MailOnline. “The area of the cabin must contain enough air to keep the vessel afloat and it is important no water gets into the cabin.”
To ensure that the boat maintains its high buoyancy at all times, its air inlets close automatically.
The low center of gravity not only makes the Thunder Child harder to flip over, but in the off chance that a strong wave does manage this feat, when underwater, the center of gravity shifts to the very top of the boat, making it extremely unstable and able to flip back to its normal position.
To prove that describing the Thunder Child as impossible to capsize wasn’t just a bombastic claim, the Irish company recently staged a demonstration where they used a crane to flip the boat over to 180 degrees while on water, not once, but twice. The first time the boat was empty, and the second time with a small crew. In both instances, it returned to its correct position almost instantly.