US 3149352 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 22, 1964 J. s. CHRISTIANSEN 3,14
DIVER 's FLAG Filed May 21, 1962 rib/mes 5. fiwwsr/mvssn INVENTOR.
BY Z/m United States Patent 3,149,352 DIVERS FLAG James S. Christiansen, Long Beach, Calif., assignor to Healthways, Los Angeles, Calif., a corporation of California Filed May 21, 1962, Ser. No. 196,10 Claims. (Cl. 9-8) This invention relates to diving, and particularly to a divers flag.
Such flags are used primarily for indicating the location of a diver below the water surface for various safety purposes. customarily a diver ties a line to the float.
In the past, inflatable rafts or other devices have been used that lie flat upon the water for signalling the divers position. Such floating devices cannot readily be sighted, except from above. A craft can easily lose track of a diver that relies only on such means.
An upright flag is more easily sighted. Hence it has been the practice to aflix a rod or pole to a float, and tie a flag to the top. Ballast is added to the float, and hopefully the rig stays together. The connection of the pole, float and ballast may not always be secure, and there is thus a danger of loss. A conventional flag cant be sighted when there is no wind to hold it extended or when the flag is so wet that it clings to the pole. A pole or rod furthermore is cumbersome gear for a diver to carry around when not in use.
Accordingly, the primary object of this invention is to provide a novel flag that overcomes all of these disadvantages. For this purpose, the flag comprises a unitary, inflatable device having provisions for attachment of a conventional belt weight. A diver customarily carries extra belt Weights with him in any event. The device incorporates a flag, and floats upright under the influence of the attached ballast weight. When deflated, the float occupies minimal space.
This invention possesses many other advantages, and has other objects which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of one embodiment of the invention. For this purpose, there is shown a form in the drawings accompanying and forming a part of the present specification, and which drawings, unless as otherwise indicated, are true scale. This form will now be described in detail, illustrating the general principles of the invention; but it is to be understood that this detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of this invention is best defined by the appended claims.
Referring to the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevation of a divers flag incorporating the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along a plane corresponding to line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged, fragmentary sectional views taken along a plane corresponding to lines 33 and 44 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along a plane corresponding to line 55 of FIG. 1.
The flag shown in FIG. 1 comprises front and rear layers or plies 11 and 12 of flexible plastic material that is relatively impervious to air and capable of being heat welded. The plies 11 and 12 are of identical pattern, peripherally sealed in a manner to be hereinafter described to form a closed space for air. Appropriate printed matter as at 13 may be applied to the plies. A releasable check valve 14 is attached to one of the plies 11 for admission and release of air. The place of attachment of the valve 14 is at a low point so that a malfunction would allow only a minimum amount of air to escape and not render the flag ineffective.
3,149,352 Patented Sept. 22, 1964 A peripheral Weld 15 secures the plies 11 and 12 together to define a sealed structure.
The configuration of the plies is such as to provide a vertical post or buoy portion 16 and a flag portion 17 extending at right angles from the top of the post or buoy 16.
The buoyancy is provided by the post portion 16. The post portion 16 has a configuration that tapers in both directions from a position of maximum girth at 18 located approximately one-third of the distance along the post from the end opposite the flag 17.
A tab 19 projects beyond the peripheral seal 15, and itself is peripherally sealed at 15a. A grommet 20 is clinched to the tab 19 and provides a means for attachment of the divers line (not shown).
In order to provide ballast to the flag or float 10, a conventional divers weight 21 is used. In the present instance the weight 21 is shown as having two apertures 22 and 22a which ordinarily receive a divers weight belt. But the float 10 carries a depending strip 23 to which the weight 21 can be detachably connected. The strip 23 has a width corresponding to that of a conventional divers weight belt, but in this instance is made of plastic for sealing between the plies 11 and 12 at the lower end of the post (FIG. 2). The strip 23 is caught between a depending tab portion 24 of the float 10 located beyond peripheral seal 15. A supplemental seal or weld as at 15b extends about the tab 24. One end of the strip 23 is within the tab area bounded by the supplemental seal 15b. The supplemental weld 15b thus projects across the strip 23 and effectively attaches it. A grommet 26 is clinched to the rectangular area bounded by the supplemental seal 15b and furthermore assists in securing the strip 23 in place. The grommet 26 may also be used as an attaching means, as, for example, for tying a weight of different form to the float.
In order to secure the weight 21, the strip 23 is passed through one or both of the apertures 22 or 22a. In this instance it is shown as passed through one of the apertures 22. A buckle 27 then secures the end 28 of the strip 23 to the main body thereof whereby a loop 29 is formed that closes about aperture 22.
The flag 17 is substantially uninflated and therefore flat. A V-shaped weld 30 extends from a point on the peripheral weld 15 at the upper portion of the flag 17, downwardly along the post to an interiorly located apex 30a, and thence diagonally upwardly to a point 150. on the peripheral weld adjacent the upper outer corner 31 of the flag. The weld 30 therefore isolates substantially half of the interior space between the plies and ensures its flatness.
A straight weld 32 isolates the other half of the flag and extends from a point 15e at the lower inner corner of the flag to a point 15 adjacent the corner 31. The weld 32 parallels the diagonally extending leg of the weld 30 and forms therebetween an air column 33 (see also FIG. 4) in communication with the interior of the post 16. This air column acts as a strut that keeps the flag 17 flat. Accordingly, when inflated, the flag 17 extends directly outwardly of the post so as to ensure its visibility.
An interior seam 34 extends from a point 15g below the corner 15e on the peripheral seam 15 upwardly in spaced parallel relationship to the substantially vertical leg of the V-shaped weld 30 and to an interior point 35. This seam 34 forms a hinge, thereby enabling the flag to flutter even with a slight breeze. This weld line 34 also forms a small air column 35 that acts as a brace to keep the upper end of the post 16 straight even upon a slight loss of air. The point 35 is spaced as close as possible to the peripheral seam 15 to ensure communication between the post portion 16 and the air columns 35 and 3 33, while detracting as little as possible from the hinge action. In the present example, the interior seam 34 is so situated as to form what appears to be the inner boundary of the flag 17.
The inventor claims:
1. In a divers flag: an inflatable device capable of being folded into a compact package for transport by a diver, comprising layers of flexible material forming an enclosure for containing air, said layers together defining a vertical inflatable post portion and a flag portion extending from the top of the post portion; means attached to the bottom of the post portion for securing a ballast weight; and seam means forming bracing air columns for maintaining the flag extended.
2. The combination as set forth in claim 1 together with a second seam means forming a hinge for the base of the flag whereby the flag is capable of binge movement with respect to the inflatable post portion for promoting flutter.
3. In a divers flag: two companion plies of plastic material capable of being thermally sealed and having characteristics suitable for forming a float, there being a peripheral seal about the plies; the plies together defining a post portion and a flag portion extending at right angles from the top of said post portion; the flag portion having welds defining an air column brace from the lower inside corner of the flag to the upper outside corner, with the remaining areas of the flag isolated from the interior air.
4. In a divers flag: two companion plies of plastic material capable of being thermally sealed and having characteristics suitable for forming a float, there being a peripheral seal about the plies; the plies together defining a post portion and a flag portion extending at right angles .4 from the top of said post portion; the flag portion having welds defining an air column brace from the lower inside corner of the flag to the upper outside corner, with the remaining areas of the flag isolated from the interior air, said plies also having Welds defining an air column forming a reinforcing beam for the upper end of the post.
5. In a divers flag: two companion plies of plastic material capable of being thermally sealed and having characteristics suitable for forming a float, there being a peripheral seal about the plies; the plies together defining a post portion and a flag portion extending at right angles from the top of said post portion; a V-shaped Weld extending from the upper inside corner of the flag at the peripheral weld downwardly to an interior apex adjacent the lower inside corner, thence diagonally upwardly to the peripheral weld at the upper outside corner; a Weld paralleling the diagonal portion of said V-shaped weld and extending from the peripheral weld at the lower inside corner of the flag to the peripheral weld at the upper outside corner of the weld to define a strut for maintaining the flag extended at right angles to the post.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 440,088 Grant Nov. 4, 1890 1,173,820 Logan Feb. 29, 1916 2,163,795 Merralls June 27, 1939 2,732,823 Hanson Jan. 31, 1956 3,031,693 Kirby May 1, 1962 3,042,940 Keaton July 10, 1962 FOREIGN PATENTS 4,786A Great Britain Sept. 27, 1906