Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 263171
Loughborough University

Enterprise Awards 2014

Graduate Enterprise

Ross Kemp with the Asap rescue craft

Asap Watercrafts

Ross Kemp
Year of graduation
Industrial Design and Technology, 2011
Asap Watercrafts

Asap is a sustainable one-person rescue craft, which can be solar-charged and provides a cheaper alternative to conventional life-saving equipment. Its inventor, Loughborough design graduate Ross Kemp has come a long way since producing his first prototype in a tent. The craft’s been tested in the bracing waters at Skegness and the pounding surf at Sydney’s Bondi Beach; in preparation for the product launch later this year.

Ross developed his idea whilst lifesaving training at Loughborough and refined Asap in the University’s Graduate Commercialisation Studio, winning national accolades including Lloyds TSB Start Up of the Year, Shell Livewire and a Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Award. He has also attracted interest from the lifeguard industry including the RNLI and Lifesaving South Africa, following the country’s worst ever drowning tragedy in which six rugby players were swept out to sea in Port Elizabeth in March 2012.

In 2013, he appeared on BBC Three’s Be Your Own Boss, pitching Asap to founder of Innocent Smoothies, Richard Reed. During the show, Reed introduced Ross to Sir Richard Branson who flew him to Bondi Beach in January 2014.

Having travelled over 5,200km along the coast of Australia to test Asap with over 100 of the best lifeguards in the world, interest from the lifesaving community has grown significantly. Ross is now busy making the final tweaks to the design in preparation for the first production run.


  • Ross is selected for the University’s Graduate Commercialisation Studio – 2011
  • Bluewater Bay Lifesaving Club Regional Chairman, David Bamber, contacts Ross following Port Elizabeth surf tragedy – April 2012
  • Asap reaches finals of Be Your Own Boss on BBC Three – September 2012
  • Ross wins Lloyds TSB Start Up of the Year – April 2013
  • Sir Richard Branson hails Asap as ‘a fantastic invention’, and Virgin funds testing in Australia – January 2014

Frame from video Play video Asap in action in Australia

Frame from video Play video Asap – how it all started


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