If you are lost at sea on a typical life raft, your main problem would be a lack of drinkable water. While humans can survive weeks without food, we can only go days without viable drinking water. Kim Hoffman developed the Sea Kettle, a life raft that uses the sun’s heat to evaporate salty water and collect condensed run off in containers within the raft.
Hoffman describes the Sea Kettle as, “a life raft that combines safety, accessibility, and a desalination process. In an emergency at sea, you may not be able to obtain fresh drinking water before being forced to abandon ship. Passengers could easily die of thirst or from extreme temperatures before they are rescued or reach land.”
The Sea Kettle provides insulation and shelter from the elements with its dome-like shape. Inside the raft are hand pumps that can be used to draw up sea water that will be turned into drinking water. The sea water is distilled and runs into four separate pockets inside the raft. Hoffman says that the process should provide enough drinking water for up to five passengers.
Hoffman entered her design into this year’s James Dyson Award competition. While the Sea
Kettle’s effectiveness does depend on there being a sufficient amount of heat to evaporate the collected sea water, it would be more ideal to be stuck at sea in this life raft than any other.