US 3122340 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 25, 1964 GEN-LE 3,122,340
REEL FOR SKINDIVER'S LINE Filed April 9, 1962 40 FIGI l4 IO INVENTOR. P ss-f7 Gewru. E
United States Patent M 3,122,340 REEL FQR SKINDIVERS LINE Robert Gentiie, Woburn, Mass. (26 Shawsheen Road, Billerica, Mass.) Filed Apr. 9, 1962, Ser. No. 185,904 4 Claims. (Cl. 242-10711) This invention relates to skindiving and more particularly to safety devices for skindivers.
A principal object of the present invention is to provide a device which permits companion skindivers to separate with safety and to return to each other without having each other in sight.
Another object of the invention is to provide a device which permits the skindiver to leave and return to a stationary or slowly moving object without necessarily having the object in sight.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a safety device having at least one reel upon which one or more lines may be wound and unwound, the line or lines at all times being maintained taut thus substantially lessening the danger of the line or lines snagging or catching on objects.
Other objects of the invention will in part be obvious and will in part appear hereinafter.
The invention accordingly comprises the devices possessing the construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which are exemplified in the following detailed disclosure, and the scope of the application of which will be indicated in the claims.
For a fuller understanding of the nature and objects of the invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is one View of the safety device of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is another view of the device of FIGURE 1 with parts broken away to show the construction; said figure also illustrating a signaling and attaching means which can be utilized with said safety device; and
FIG. 3 is a view of one preferred reel or spool employed in the device shown in FIGURE 1.
For safety, frequently two or more skindivers operate together. However, companion divers often become separated and lose sight of each other when underwater thus making it difiicult, if not impossible, for a skindiver to signal for and to receive aid quickly from a separated, out-of-sight companion diver or for a skindiver to receive a signal and to quickly respond to the aid of a companion diver. Moreover, without having a companion diver in sight, it is also difiicult to quickly call to the attention of a companion diver an object or important find in the water.
It has been proposed to secure companion skindivers together by a predetermined length of cord thus providing a means by which a skindiver at one end of the line can locate and communicate with a separated, out-ofsight companion at the other end of the line. However, when the skindivers are not at the limits of the line carried therebetween, the line is slack and there is thus the danger of the slack line becoming caught or snagged on underwater objects.
In the present invention, there is provided a safety device comprising at least one spring loaded reel upon which at least one line may be wound and unwound, the line or lines at all times being maintained taut. The safety device of the present invention enables a skindiver to leave and return to an object without having the object in sight. Moreover it allows companion skindivers to separate and to return to each other without having each other in sight and provides a means of maintaining constant communication between companion skindivers.
3,1223% Patented Feb. 25, 1964 Referring now to the drawings, there is shown a safety device It) comprising a casing 12 within which there is provided a substantially rigid frame 14 having an elongated octagonal shape, and a spring loaded reel or rotary spool 16 mounted within the frame upon which predetermined lengths of flexible cords or lines 18 and 20 are wound. The frame 12 which may be of a shape other than that exemplified is made of any suitable material, e.g., metal, plastic, etc. which provides a structure which is substantially rigid and corrosion resistant. It should be noted that the other elements of the device are also constructed of materials which are corrosion resistant.
Mounted (within the space or annulus provided by the frame 12 and) between the opposite central faces or sides of the frame by means of a fixed shaft 22, there is provided a reel or rotatable spool 16 upon which one or more suitable lengths of flexible cord is supported or stored. The reel 16 comprises a shaft portion 24 having a substantially centrally disposed longitudinal cavity or bore 26 therethrough and a pair of rims or flanges 28 at the ends of the reel shaft 24. The shaft 22 extends through the bore 26, shown as having a circular cross section, and is fixedly secured to the opposed central sides of the frame so that it does not move or rotate. Within the bore 26 there is provided a coiled metallic spring 39 of, for example, stainless steel, one end of which is securely joined to fixed shaft 22 and the other end of which is securely attached to a portion of the wall defining the bore 26 so as to provide a spring loaded revolvable or rotatable reel upon which at least one cord may be wound and unwound. Means are provided on the reel for holding a cord or cords on the reel. As shown, the cord holding means may comprise an eyelet or opening 32 adjacent the outer surface of the reel shaft 24.
To wind a cord upon the reel, the reel is rotated so that the coiled spring 30 is placed under a tension such that when released the desired length of cord or cords will be wound upon the reel. After the coiled spring has been so tensioned a single cord, for example, which may comprise rope, vinyl cord, nylon cord, polyethylene cord or the like is passed through the eyelet 32 so that, for instance, substantially equal portions 18 and 20 are on either side of the eyelet. The cord on one side of the eyelet is pulled in one direction while the cord on the other side is pulled in the opposite direction such as shown in FIG. 3. The tensioned reel is then released thus causing the two portions of the cord to be oppositely wound on the reel, therefore making it possible for the cords to be unwound in two opposite directions. Since the cords 18 and 20 will be unwound from the reel which is spring loaded, they will constantly be drawn back to the reel thus maintaining the cords taut at all times.
It is obvious that instead of having substantially equal lengths of cord which may be oppositely wound and unwound, the cords may be of different lengths. Likewise, instead of using a single cord as exemplified, two individual cords may be appropriately connected by means of the eyelet. It is also possible to secure additional cords to the reel in a manner such that, for example, two or more cords may be wound and unwound in one direction and only one cord in the other direction or two or more cords may be wound and unwound in each direction. This latter embodiment is particularly useful, for example, in conducting skindiverstraining classes since an instructor can easily handle several students at once without losing communication with them. Although only one reel has been shown, it is obvious that more than one reel may be utilized. For example, two or more separate reels may be employed, each reel supporting at least one length of cord so as to provide at least two cords which are capable of being withdrawn in directions opposite to each other.
At each of the opposed end faces or sides of the frame 14- there is an opening of circular cross section within which a hollow coupling means 34 is provided. The coupling means 34 comprise a head portion 36 in abutting relationship with the inner end face of the frame and a hollow cylindrical body 38 with outside threading thereon. The coupling means 34 provides a guide and passage means for the cords extending from the reel as Well as a means for securely holding casing 12 about the frame and reel.
The cas ng 12 which encloses the frame 14 and reel 16 comprises a pair of shells 4t and 42 which may be substantially hemi-spherical in shape or of some other suitable shape or configuration. Adjacent the open ends of the shells, suitable cooperating lip means are provided for holding the shells together. An opening of circular cross section sufficient to slip over the coupling body 38 is provided in the top of each shell. To maintain the pair of shells in tight abutting relationship while the device 16 is in use, a hollow sealing nut 44 having inside threading is screwed over each of the coupling bodies 38 which prevents the she ls from uncoupling.
The cords which extend from the reel 16 and through the coupling means 34 are provided at the exterior ends thereof with handle means 46. The handle means which may be hand held by the skindivers or attached to their person by anchoring onto or through their belts thus freeing their hands may comprise a straight rectangularshaped grasp or handle. Preferably, however, the handle comprises a rectangular-shaped handheld provided with a centrally disposed obtuse angle. This latter embodiment permits the handle to be secured about a divers belt without it pulling therefrom such as is frequently experienced with a handle having a straight configuration.
In place of or in addition to the handle means described above, there may be utilized watertight containers 48 each having a handle 56 which may be grasped by the hand or clipped to the skindivers belt. Each of the containers 48 may contain batteries, a suitable signaling means, e.g., a light and/or sounding device and means for completing an electrical circuit so as to actuate the appropriate signaling means. The containers 48 are appropriately electrically connected by wires suitably carried by the cord or cords therebetween so that when the electrical circuit is completed by one of the divers, the signaling device carried by the container of the companion diver or divers is actuated.
The device ltl may be utilized in several ways. For example, a skindiver may attach one cord end to an object and carry the other cord end. As the diver swims away from the object, the cords are unwound and as he approaches the object the cords automatically rewind, the cords are at all times maintained taut. This permits a skindiver to leave an object, even lose sight of it and yet return to it quickly and easily.
Two or more skindivers may also utilize the device it). For example, one diver may carry one cord end and a companion diver may carry the other cord end. Thus, they may separate, even lose sight of one another,
a and still quickly and safely return to each other. As before, as the divers move apart, the cords held by them are unwound and as they move towards each other, the cords are automatically rewound. The cords are at all times maintained taut thus reducing the danger of them becoming snagged or caught on objects.
Since certain changes may be made in the above device without departing from the scope of the invention herein involved, it is intended that all matter contained in the p above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
What is claimed is:
l. A device for divers which comprises a substantially rigid frame within which there is mounted a spring loaded reel having two predetermined lengths of flexible cord oppositely wound therearound, a pair of apertures in said frame, a portion of one of said lengths of flexible cord passing through one of said apertures and a portion of the other of said lengths of flexible cord passing through said other aperture, and a watertight container secured at the end of each said portions of said lengths of flexible cord, said containers being electrically connected together, each of said containers being provided with signaling means.
2. A device for divers which comprises a casing within which there is a substantially rigid frame having a spring loaded reel mounted therewithin, said reel having two predetermined lengths of flexible cord oppositely wound therearound, and a pair of apertures in said casing, a portion of one of said lengths of flexible cord passing through one of said apertures and a portion of the other of said lengths of flexible cord passing through said other aperture, and a watertight container having a handle secured at the end of each of said portions of said lengths of flexible cord, said containers being electrically connected together, each of said containers being provided with signaling means.
3. A device for divers which comprises a substantially rigid frame within which there is mounted a spring loaded reel having two predetermined lengths of flexible cord oppositely wound therearound, said frame and reel being enclosed by a casing comprising a pair of cooperating shells, a pair of opposed passages extending through said frame and casing, a portion of one of said lengths of flexible cord passing through one of said passages and a portion of the other of said lengths of flexible cord passing through said other passage, and a watertight container having a handle secured at the end of each of said portions of said lengths of flexible cord, said containers being electrically connected together, each or" said containers being provided with signaling means.
4. The device of claim 1 wherein each of said containers is provided with a handle.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 422,381 Cole Mar. 4, 1890 669,283 Lindsay Mar. 5, 1901 745,633 Lindsay et a1. Dec. 1, 1903 986,383 Hagstrom et a1. Mar. 7, 1911