St Albans inventor heads to Bondi Beach

PUBLISHED: 12:23 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 12:23 14 January 2014

Ross Kemp of St Albans is testing his lifesaving craft in Australia

Ross Kemp of St Albans is testing his lifesaving craft in Australia

Archant

An inventor who hails from St Albans has flown to the warmer climes of Bondi Beach in Australia to enable its lifeguards to test his latest creation, a one-person motorised lifesaving craft.

It is a huge step for Ross Kemp, as the 26 year old previously designed vacuum cleaners at Vax.

But the trip could not have occurred without the help of Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, who offered to fly Ross to Australia to have his product trialled by world-class lifeguards.

Ross’s invention, dubbed the “Asap”, is a cheaper alternative to a jet ski, can be launched into the water by just one person, and be charged by solar power.

The motorised lifesaving craft has on-board electric propulsion to help reach casualties faster.

Ross received investment in his creation from the co-founder of Innocent Drinks, Richard Reed, on BBC Three show, Be Your Own Boss.

But Asap also caught the attention of Sir Richard, who described it as a “fantastic invention”.

He added: “I have had my share of close shaves, and have been rescued from sinking boats and balloons many times, [and] even had to swim for shore once, clinging to a plank of wood.

“I think the Asap watercraft will be a wonderful success in Australia.

“Anything that can help lifeguards reach drowning casualties faster must be a good thing.”

Ross said the rescue product had taken months of, “long days and strong coffees”.

His invention is undergoing six weeks of sea-testing in Australia, starting at Bondi Beach in Sydney, one of the country’s most famous beaches.

On arriving down under, Ross said he was trying to meet as many lifeguards as possible to get their feedback, as, “I need to know if the product is a floater or a sinker in the Australian market”.

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