The Water Vault Full View Underwater Escape

The Water Vault Full View Underwater Escape


Any serious escape artist professional will tell you that any form of underwater escape is dangerous. There is no such thing as a 100% safe underwater escape.

Over the years, I conceived three water-based stunts with basic methods/ presentations worked out and had them on the back burner for potential projects.

In 2013, I designed this original water tank escape for ‘Magic Babe’ Ning. It is a modern day version of Houdini’s “Milk Can” escape but with a much more secure and contemporary looking prop.

Most importantly, it is performed in full view of the audience without curtains or covers. In the traditional presentation of the “Milk Can Escape”, the escape is performed behind a curtain to hide the secret of the escape.

“The Water Vault” itself was fabricated from scratch. The main container is a solid welded unit made from heavy gauge stainless steel. It is extremely fitting with virtually no room for one’s body to maneuver once submerged inside. The main unit is mounted on a base fabricated from stainless steel and marine ply. The cover of the vault is equally, if not more formidable. Constructed from the same heavy gauge materials, the cover fits snugly over the main unit where it will be held tightly in place with 8 heavy duty stainless steel chains.

Final design for “The Water Vault” took about three months and fabrication took slightly more than two months. Here are some photos of “The Water Vault” in the workshop:


The lid of “The Water Vault” is held down with 8 heavy duty chains.


“The Water Vault” is locked down with a total of seven industrial-grade padlocks.


The restraints include wrist chains, arm shackles and a body chain wrap.


A total of 11 locks of different types and models are used in this escape. I custom designed lock-belts that the crew wore for easy access to get the locks during the shackling up process.

In any show production, dead-time must be eliminated to ensure the show’s pacing is not slow. Looking for the right locks during the lock-up process, especially when there are so many locks can be a significant amount of dead-time. My lock-belts eliminate this.

I will be releasing building plans and details to “The Water Vault” in the near future (2014).

Watch the performance of the stunt below:


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