Wendy Dent Profile picture
Jul 8, 2018 21 tweets 6 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
#SCOOP (thread): 13 rescue pods commissioned by #ElonMusk for the #ThailandCaveRescue have been flown to Thailand. They are designed to transport the boys by floating or submersion, and can also be used as a rescue sled. They are awaiting news about the rescue operation.
2/ Andrew Branagh of the northern California company Wing Inflatables states "The rescue pods are designed so they are like a belt chamber"
3/ Branagh says that when you turn the pods one way it allows them to float, and "when you turn them another way they sink."
4/ To avoid the potential for the boys' panic, "it is safer if they are unconscious", Branagh recommends. "Our suggestion was valium. If it were me I'd rather they be unconscious".
5/ "we are on call 24/7 with our engineering team right now... if they have any needs or modifications"
6/ "There will be one each", for each of the trapped boys and their coach. "But they are interchangeable."
7/ "The question is on the water. Is the water rising or falling? I don't know" says Branagh. "The concern right now is the rain. There are probably better ways than the escape pods we built. But time..."
8/ "I'm not sure what the rescue right now is. I know from #SpaceX there are people on site now."
9/ The rescue pods were designed and created in California, within hours. "We started with a concept at 8am. And had a prototype in the pool being tested the same day. Then the team stayed until 1 in the morning and built more units".
10/ "When the Elon jet landed" to pick up.the pods, "a third of the factory went to the plane to wish it luck".
11/ "It was an honor to.get the call from #SpaceX", Branagh says", complimenting the team on their vision and also a smooth collaboration.
12/ "We had worked with them before. We were on a conference call -and #ElonMusk was on the call. He was very visionary. I was impressed. They were open to our ideas."
13/ "The #SpaceX team and Wing team created parallel paths. We were brainstorming and starting to build. We said lets build all our ideas. We would start designing.. and catch up to the builds."
14/ "What is interesting is, if you know #California at all, we are 350 miles north of #SanFrancisco in a little town, #Arcata. That is a little #riverrafting town. We manufacture inflatable recovery parts for #SpaceX".
"So we have a relationship. When Elon had an idea, he asked our engineering team to get a hold of us. It was wonderful to see it all come through," says Branagh, Wing Inflatables' president and CEO.
15/ "So we have a relationship. When Elon had an idea he asked our engineering team to get a hold of us. It was wonderful to see it all come through", says Branagh, Wing Inflatables' president and CEO.
16/ Branagh now waits by the phone for updates on the #ThailandCaveRescue, hoping it will be just as smooth.
Further details, fyi: in my understanding (from my interview with Branagh, CEO of Wing Inflatables) a survivor carried in the pod would be breathing oxygen with a mask. (I've asked for confirmation on that).
According to major news outlets, the operation to rescue the 12 boys and their coach from the cave is now under way. May they all be safe.
Further details- from my interview with Branagh: the first 5 rescue pods went out on a SpaceX jet from northern California "at 5:15pm on US Friday. So I believe they have landed and have 5 of the rescue pods." CONT
"We kept building after the [#SpaceX] jet left", said Branagh. "We built 8 more all night long. A second jet arrived and flew them to SF. They took it on a 747 to Thailand. There are 8 more backups".

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