South East Wales

'Tsunami boat' designed by Atlantic College students

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Media captionAtlantic College pioneered the rigid-hulled inflatable boat

A group of sixth-form students from an international college in south Wales are helping design a new type of boat for use in the aftermath of a tsunami.

UWC Atlantic College has a long tradition of boat-building after developing the rigid-hulled inflatable boat, RIB, in the 1960s, now used in rescues around the world.

Two students caught up in the 2011 earthquake in Japan which triggered a tsunami are taking part in the project.

Testing will begin on the boat in 2015.

Japanese tsunami

Nanami Ito and Sara Yamasaki were both schoolgirls in Japan when the earthquake struck.

Nanami lived in the tsunami-hit region and her home was destroyed.

Sara said: "We started from designing the boat and now we are actually making the boat.

Image caption The boat will undergo rigorous testing once completed next year

"We are researching what aspects we need and also we are thinking about how to introduce the boat to people."

The work comes 10 years after the Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December in 2004 which left more than 130,00 people dead.

The students working on the project have teamed up with companies in northern Japan to develop the new boat, which is thought to be the first to be designed specifically to cope with conditions in the aftermath of a tsunami.

The design for the original RIB, made at Atlantic College's Vale of Glamorgan home in St Donats, was famously sold to the RNLI for £1.

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