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Publication numberUS3090205 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 21, 1963
Filing dateNov 23, 1959
Priority dateNov 23, 1959
Publication numberUS 3090205 A, US 3090205A, US-A-3090205, US3090205 A, US3090205A
InventorsAbraham Hurwitz, O'neill Wilbur J
Original AssigneeHypro Diving Equipment Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Harness pack for free diving apparatus
US 3090205 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 21, 1963 A.

HARNESS PAC Filed Nov. 25, 1959 48 azawa- WiLBUR J. ONEILL FIG. 7 54 50 B 53 *(mwnv. mum, WITTER x.

ATTORNEYS Patented May 21, 1963 This invention relates to free diving apparatus and provides an improved harness pack for mounting such apparatus on a diver.

In free diving, the diver carries a supply of compressed air together with breathing apparatus, and is thus able to move about under water without restriction by lines or air hose. His buoyancy is counteracted by weights, ordinarily of lead, which are generally just sufiicient to permit him to swim freely under water without floating or sinking. His motion under water is ordinarily in a prone swimming position but will vary depending on his particular activities. While entering into the water or ascending to the surface, the diver will be in an essentially upright position, but while diving or while engaged in exploring the bottom, his position will be inclined with the head down.

it has been the practice heretofore to mount the tank of compressed air and the associated underwater breathing apparatus by means of a fabric harness which supports the apparatus on the divers back. Harnesses conventionally include a shoulder strap and a waist belt, with the weights ca tried on a separate belt that may be detached readily to permit the diver to rise rapidly as in cases of emergency.

The conventional harness employs a pair of shoulder straps which pass over the divers shoulders and are secured at their ends at the front or sides of the diver, t'lpically to the belt portion of the harness that surrounds his waist. In practice the straps hold the equipment with only limited rigidity and provide considerable freedom of motion which permits the tank to shift its position on the divers back. This not only interferes with the divers balance and stability, which is annoying, but also permits the pack to shift towards the divers head when in an inverted position, which interferes with his freedom of head movement and which if the shift is sudden may strike with annoying force.

A more serious difiiculty encountered with the conventional strap harness is in the tendency to bind when the harness is removed. In throwing the straps from the shoulders preparatory to slipping them from around the arms, there is a tendency for the straps to catch on the arms and hold them behind the diver. Although this is at best an inconvenience when the diver is on land, it presents a distinct hazard if he is atempting to disengage himself from the equipment while under water, as in cases of emergency when he must surface quickly. Since also the diver attempting to rise quickly will have to remove the weights, these also present a risk of fouling when they are held by a separate strap which may itself become entangled with the harness straps.

The harness pack mount of the present invention avoids the most serious of the difiiculties encountered in the mounting of self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, and provides a mount that will hold the apparatus in a stable fixed position on the divers back, without unnecessary interference with his movements and which may be readily disengaged from the diver without danger of binding or entangling.

In general, the harness pack mount of this invention features a rigid contoured backplate for carrying the tank and a pair of hinged rigid waistbands extending from the plate around the divers waist. The shoulder straps extend from the top of the backplate over the divers shoulders and fasten at their forward ends to the front of the waistbands, and are thus held in 1a fixed position at their ends in a manner such that the diver may readily slip from the straps upon opening the waistbands. The Waistbands further provide a removable catch for securing the weights in place and thus eliminate the need of separate straps for the weights. Dorsal stability of the pack is additionally provided by a crotch strap that extends from the lower part of the backplate to the front ends of the waistbands. A strap having a quickly removable snap catch joins the front ends of the waistbands together and also secures the front end of the crotch strap.

From the foregoing brief description, it will be seen that the difficulties encountered in the mounting of free diving apparatus are largely eliminated with the provision of greatly increased comfort and safety for the diver.

A preferred embodiment of this invention is described in detail below with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a view from the front of the harness pack shown in its open position ready for being placed on the back;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation showing the harness pack in position on a diver who is shown schematically;

FIG. 3 is atop section taken at 3-3 in FIG. 1 showing the pack in one position, with the open position of the waistband shown schematically;

FIG. 4 is a rear elevation showing the back of the backplate and a removable panel to which the tank is strapped;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view from the back of the waistband showing the mechanism for securing the weights in place;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view taken at 6-6 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary view taken at 77 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view of snap catch; and

FIG. 9 is a section taken at 99 in FIG. 8.

In the illustrated embodiment a tank 10 is shown mounted to the harness pack, with the breathing apparatus itself removed. The tank 10, it will be seen, is carried on the back of the diver, as shown in outline form in FIG. 2, and is held by bands 12 in a cradle 14 which is removably but securely fastened to the harness pack.

The pack consists in general of a backplate 16 shaped to extend from the vicinity of the divers shoulders downward to his hip region, and is contoured to the general configuration of his back. The top and bottom of the backplate are widened, corresponding to the shoulders and hips of the diver while the waist portion is relatively narrow and supports a pair of rigid waistbands 18 each of which is free to pivot about a supporting hinge 20. The hinges 20 are at an angle to the center line of the backplate l6, sloping outwardly to the bottom such that on pivoting the waistbands to the open position the outer ends swing upwardly. Shoulder straps for mounting the harness pack to the diver extend between slots 24 at the upper sides of the backplate and slots 26 at the forward ends of the waistbands. The crotch strap 28 extends from slots 30 in the lower hip portion of the backplate and is designed to pass between the divers legs and be secured at the front by a release strap 32 which is secured through slots 34 to the end of one of the waistbands 13. A clasp 36 at the end of the release strap 32 engaging a stud 38 provided at the end of the other waistband l8 constitutes a single releasable element by which the entire harness pack is secured to the diver. Each of the straps is adjustable in length to permit adjustment to fit persons of various sizes and a plu rality of slots 24 at the upper sides of the backplate also permit adjustment to persons of different size.

The harness pack is mounted on a diver as shown in FIG. 2. The shoulder straps 22 pass over the shoulders of the diver and are held in a fixed location at his waist in front by the waistbands 18. These are in turn held snugly around the waist of the diver by the strap 32 which also holds the end of the crotch strap 28.

The tank 10, mounted to the'cradle 14', is held by means of keyhole slots 40, which engage appropriate studs 42, provided on the backplate. A spring snap 43 which extends from the lower end of the cradle 14 engages a pin 44 and serves to hold the cradle in place against acci-- dental displacement.

The divers weights 46 are secured to an arcuate baseplate 48, which carries a mounting pin 54 and is removably held to the waistbands 18 'by weight release levers 50. Each of the weight release levers St} is slidably mounted to the inside of the waistband 18 by means of a retainer 52 engaged within a slot 53. An enlarged keyhole portion of the slot 53 engages the pin 54 when the release lever is pulled upwardly. The weights may quickly 'be'released by pushing the release lever 56 down to permit the pin 54 (FIG. 1) to fall free of the enlarged portion of the slot 53.

If it is necessary for the diver to release the entire harness pack, the clasp 36 can be snapped free from the stud 38. The crotch strap 28, is then free and the waistbands are free to be open, thereby carrying the shoulder straps 22 upwardly and outwardly from the diver, permitting him to free himself from the pack with minimum danger of becoming entangled.

The backplate 16 and rigid waistbands 18 are preferably constructed of aluminum and provided with a vinyl plastisol coating and the straps 22 and 28 and 32 can be neatly formed of Saran (polyvinylidene chloride), but it. will be seen that other material may be used with equal satisfaction.

The preferred snap catch, consisting of the clasp 36 and stud 38, by which the ends of the waistband 18 are joined is shown in detail in FIGS. 8 and 9. The clasp 36 is in the form of a wire loop formed with a widebase portion 36:: which connects into a fold formed at the end of the release strap 32, and terminates in a bight 36b formed with a narrowed neck, which surrounds and closely fits into a groove encircling the stud 38. The clasp is encased in a soft plastic tube (eg. plasticized polyvinyl chloride) which provides resilience sutficient for a snap fit. The waistbands are connected together by slipping the wide base portion of the clasp 36 over the stud 38, and then pulling the clasp to cause the terminal bight 36b to engage the stud. A quick release of the catch may be made simply by twisting the clasp 36, as indicated by the arrows in FIG. 9, to cause the bight to spring from the stud.

In its operation the pack is mounted on the diver as shown in FIG. 2. The contoured backplate curves into the small of the back such that part of the weightmay be supported on the divers buttocks while part is supported on his shoulders. The waistbands are preferably sufficiently loose to permit free breathing and do not ordinarily provide support of the weight of the pack and the equipment carried by it; they do however provide lateral stability. The waistbands also carry the weights as part of a single rigid unit, so that all of the heavier equipment constitutes a single load, as distinguished from the several separate loads which are carried in conventional diving practice. in this connection it will be noted that the weights, at the front of the pack, serve to counterbalance the weight of the tank at the rear pack, and in all provides a compact, unitary balanced mounting for the equipment.

From the foregoing description it will be seen that a firm mount is provided capable of holding the diving apparatus firmly in a fixed location. A quick release of the Weights is easily effected and the entire pack is readily removed or put on.

Having thus disclosed our invention, We claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent:

1. A harness pack for free diving apparatus comprising a backplate adapted to extend from the divers shoulders to his hips, a pair of rigid curved waistband members secured to opposite sides of a mid portion of said backplate each by a hinge having an axis permitting the said m mbers to be opened away from each other, a shoulder strap extending from each side of the top of said backplate to a front portion of the waistband member on the same side of said backplate, a crotch strap extending from the lower portion of said backplate to between the front ends of said waistband members, and a release strap attached to an end of one of said waistband members and adapted to secure the ends of said waistband members and the end of said crotch strap.

2. A harness pack for free diving apparatus comprising a backplate adapted to extend from the divers shoulders or his hips, a pair of rigid curved waistband members secured to opposite sides of a mid portion of said backplate each by a hinge having an axis permitting the said members to be opened away from each other, a shoulder strap extending from each side of the top of said backplate to a front portion of the waistband member on the same side of said backplate, a crotch strap extending from the lower portion of said backplate to between the front ends of said waistband members, a release strap attached to an end of one of said waistband members and adapted to secure the ends of said waistband members and the end of said crotch strap, and weights and means releasably securing said weights to front portions of said waistband members.

3. A harness pack for free diving apparatus comprising a backplate adapted to extend from the divers shoulders to his hips, a pair of rigid curved waistband members secured to opposite sides of a mid portion of said backplate each by a hinge having an axis permitting the said members to be opened away from each other, a shoulder strap extending from each side of the top of said backplate to a front portion of the waistband member on the same side of said backplate, a crotch strap extending from the lower portion of said backplate to between the front ends of said waistband members, a release strap attached to an end of one of said Waistband members and adapted to secure the ends of said waistband members and the end of said crotch strap, and means for releasably securing a diving apparatus to said backplate.

4. A harness pack for free diving apparatus comprising a backplate contoured to the back of the diver and adapted to extend from his shoulders to his hips and means for securing diving apparatus to said backplate, a pair of rigid curved waistband members secured to opposite sides of said backplate each by a hinge having an axis inclined to the vertical centerline of said backplate to permit said members to swing upwardly and outwardly from their normal waist-engaging positions, a shoulder strap extending from each side of the top of said backplate to a front portion of the waistband member on the same side of said backplate, a crotch strap extending from the lower portion of said backplate' to between the front ends of said waistband members, and a release strap attached to an end of one of said waistband members and adapted to secure the ends of said waistband members and the end of said crotch strap.

5. A harness pack for free diving apparatus comprising a backplate contoured to the back of the diver and adapted to extend from his shoulders to his hips and means for securing diving apparatus to said backplate, a pair of rigid curved waistband members secured to opposite sides of said backplate each by a hinge having an axis inclined to the vertical centerline of said backplate to permit said members to swing upwardly and outwardly from their normal waist-engaging position, a shoulder strap extend ing from each side of the top of said backplate to a front portion of the waistband member on the same side of said backplate, a crotch strap extending from the lower portion of said backplate to between the front ends of 5 5 said waistband members, a release strap attached to an 2,331,301 Brown Oct, 12, 1943 end of one of said waistband members and adapted to 2,456,130 Lambertson Dec. 14, 1948 secure the ends of said Waistband members and the end 2,807,035 Phillips Sept. 24, 1957 of said crotch strap, and weights and means releasably securing said weights to front portions of said waistband 5 FOREIGN PATENTS members- 506,578 France Aug. 25, 1920 References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 617,675 Crawford Jan. 10, 1899 OTHER REFERENCES U.S. Divers, 1957, Aqua Lung, page 7.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US617675 *Sep 1, 1898Jan 10, 1899 crawford
US2331301 *Oct 30, 1939Oct 12, 1943American Pad & Textile CompanyLife preserver
US2456130 *Jan 31, 1945Dec 14, 1948Lambertsen Christian JBreathing apparatus
US2807035 *Apr 9, 1956Sep 24, 1957Safety First Supply CompanyLife preserver vest
FR506578A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3192723 *Nov 2, 1962Jul 6, 1965Apperson Kenneth LDiving weight
US3263432 *Mar 26, 1963Aug 2, 1966Normalair LtdBallast weight carrying and releasing means
US3342036 *Feb 28, 1964Sep 19, 1967Andre GrugetBallast devices for skin divers
US3364616 *Mar 7, 1966Jan 23, 1968Hassenfeld Bros IncToy deep sea diver outfit
US3735598 *Dec 9, 1971May 29, 1973Us NavyDiver{3 s belt and method of manufacture
US4305685 *Sep 7, 1979Dec 15, 1981Rentfrow Bruce AQuick release divers belt
US4498878 *Aug 31, 1982Feb 12, 1985Shieh Shin ShiSafety diving backpack
US4752263 *Jun 29, 1984Jun 21, 1988Cuda International CorporationCustom underwater diving system
US4810134 *Apr 13, 1987Mar 7, 1989U.S.D. CorpSingle walled diver's buoyancy compensator
US5570688 *Nov 17, 1993Nov 5, 1996Cochran Consulting, Inc.Advanced dive computer for use with a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus
US6478509Jun 1, 1999Nov 12, 2002Robert L. PowleyHarness weight transfer system for scuba diving
US7988511 *Sep 28, 2006Aug 2, 2011Oceanic Safety Systems LlcFreediving safety apparatus
US8006877 *Apr 17, 2008Aug 30, 2011Sperian Respiratory Protection Usa, LlcBackpack for self contained breathing apparatus
US8356692 *Mar 30, 2012Jan 22, 2013Mine Safety Appliances CompanyRelease mechanism for harness system
US8844116 *Aug 4, 2008Sep 30, 2014Rhys James CouzynMethod of manufacturing a buoyancy control device
US20110200395 *Aug 4, 2008Aug 18, 2011Rhys James CouzynMethod of manufacturing a buoyancy control device
EP0215704A1 *Aug 26, 1986Mar 25, 1987U.S. Divers Company, Inc.Buoyancy compensator insertable backpack
Classifications
U.S. Classification405/186
International ClassificationB63C11/30, B63C11/02
Cooperative ClassificationB63C11/30
European ClassificationB63C11/30