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US4681552: Combined life vest device and buoyancy compensator

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Filing Information

Inventor(s) William L. Courtney ·
Assignee(s) COURTNEY WILLIAM L ·
Attorney/Agent(s) John A. Bucher ·
Primary Examiner Sherman D. Basinger ·
Application Number US6747005
Filing date 06/20/1985
Issue date 07/21/1987
Predicted expiration date 06/20/2005
U.S. Classifications 441/92  · 441/108  ·
International Classifications B63C 916  ·
Kind CodeA
International Classifications 405186 ·
22 Claims, No Drawings


Abstract

A combined life vest device and buoyancy compensator is disclosed for use by divers along with scuba gear including a back pack for mounting a compressed air tank on the back of the diver. One embodiment of the invention comprises a single garment for the diver including inner and outer shells providing abrasion protection with first and second airtight chambers forming respectively a buoyancy compensator adjacent the compressed air tank and a part of life vest surrounding the diver's torso. A conventional power inflator is employed for regulating pressure within the buoyancy compensator. An inflating device for the second chamber preferably includes an interconnection between the two chambers with a one-way check valve so that the second chamber is automatically inflated when pressure in the first chamber exceeds a predetermined level. A rebreathing tube is provided in communication with the second chamber so that the diver may use it as an emergency air supply. In another embodiment, the first chamber is also arranged adjacent the air tank while being separable from the second chamber in order to permit it to remain with the tank. In that embodiment, the first and second chambers are similarly interconnected as described in the first embodiment while also including a quick release coupling to facilitate separation of the chambers.

Independent Claims | See all claims (22)

  1. 1. A combined life vest device and buoyancy compensator for use by divers along with scuba gear including a compressed air tank to provide an under water source of air, backpack means for mounting the tank on the diver and quick release means for securing the back pack means to the diver and permitting the diver to rapidly free himself of both the backpack and the tank, comprisinga garment adapted for fitting about the torso of the diver,buoyancy compensator means comprising a first air-tight chamber formed in the garment closely adjacent the location of the air tank on the diver,means for permitting the diver to selectively regulate pressure within the buoyancy compensator chamber,a second air-tight chamber formed in the garment to generally surround a portion of the diver's torso, andmeans for selectively inflating the second chamber,whereby the diver is able to regulate pressure within the first buoyancy compensator chamber during a dive, the location of the buoyancy compensator being arranged closely adjacent the tank to maintain the diver's underwater center of gravity while also being in a position to avoid restricting movement of the diver, the second chamber being inflated only as necessary or desired by the diver,the first and second air-tight chambers being of complementary nested configuration,the second air-tight chamber being of a W configuration including an elongated central element arranged to extend along the diver's back and elongated lateral elements arranged to be generally adjacent the front of the diver's torso, the first air-tight chamber being of an inverted U configuration to nest about the elongated central element of the second air-tight chamber in order to be closely adjacent the air tank on the diver.
  2. 11. A combined life vest device and buoyancy compensator for use by divers along with scuba gear including a compressed air tank to provide an under water source of air, backpack means for mounting the tank on the diver and quick release means for securing the back pack means to the diver and permitting the diver to rapidly free himself of both the backpack and the tank, comprisinga garment adapted for fitting about the torso of the diver,buoyancy compensator means comprising a first air-tight chamber formed in the garment closely adjacent the location of the air tank on the diver,means for permitting the diver to selectively regulate pressure within the buoyancy compensator chamber,a second air-tight chamber formed in the garment to generally surround a portion of the diver's torso,means for selectively inflating the second chamber,whereby the diver is able to regulate pressure within the first buoyancy compensator chamber during a dive, the location of the buoyancy compensator being arranged closely adjacent the tank to maintain the diver's underwater center of gravity while also being in a position to avoid restricting movement of the diver, the second chamber being inflated only as necessary or desired by the diver,one-way check valve means forming an interconnection between the first and second air-tight chambers while being adapted for permitting pressurization of the second air-tight chamber when pressure in the first air-tight chamber exceeds a first predetermined level, anda second one-way check valve arranged in series with one first one-way check valve between the first and second air-tight chambers, indicator means being arranged between the first and second one-way valves to provide a signal to the diver prior to inflation of the second air-tight chamber.
  3. 15. Scuba gear for use by divers and the like, comprisinga compressed air tank to provide an underwater source of air for the diver,backpack means for securing the tank to the diver, the backpack means comprising quick release means for permitting the diver to rapidly free himself of the tank,a buoyancy compensator means comprising a first air-tight chamber arranged closely adjacent the tank, means for selectively regulating pressure within the first chamber under the control of the diver,a second air-tight chamber arranged to generally surround a portion of the diver's torso, anda one-way check valve providing an interconnection between the first and second air-tight chambers in order to automatically inflate the second air-tight chamber when pressure in the first air-tight chamber exceeds a first predetermined level,separate flexible containers forming the first and second air-tight chambers, inner and outer shell means providing abrasion protection for the first and second air-tight chambers respectively,the second air-tight chamber being separable from the first chamber in order to remain with the backpack and air tank when they are removed by the diver.

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents

Document NumberAssigneesInventorsIssue/Pub Date
US3436777 Greenwood Apr 1969
US3747140 UNDER SEA INDUSTRIES Roberts Jul 1973
US4016616 Lawrence S. Scott Walters Apr 1977
US4137585 U.S. Divers Co. Wright, III Feb 1979
US4176418 Scott Dec 1979
US4324234 MANESS SAMUEL G Maness Apr 1982

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