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In One Ear: Bread, milk and a lifeboat

Seven-Eleven Japan equips three stores with lifeboats
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on May 19, 2017 12:01AM

It’s not often one would associate corporations with caring, but convenience store Seven-Eleven Japan Co. is equipping three of its stores with unsinkable lifeboats for the safety of their employees and customers, according to The Asahi Shimbun ( The outlets chosen, which are in high tsunami risk zones, and have no evacuation sites nearby, will have the lifeboats installed in their parking lots.

The capsule-shaped boats are about 28 feet long, 11 feet wide, are made of fiber-reinforced plastic, and can right themselves if flipped. One is pictured, courtesy of Shigi Shipbuilding Co. Each boat can carry up to 25 passengers, who are strapped in with thee-point seat belts, fastened at both shoulders and waist. A week’s supply of food and water can be stored under the floor.

Better yet, if the lifeboat gets sucked out to sea by a tsunami, there’s also an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon on board, so the Japanese Coast Guard can hopefully find it and bring it back.

For forward out-of-the-box (store) thinking: Kudos to Seven-Eleven Japan.


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