US 3345984 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1967 G. KATEHIS DIVING MASK WITH SNORKEL Filed March 19, 1965 INVENTOR. GEORGE KATEH IS ATTORN EX United States Patent f) f 3,345,984 DIVING MASK WITH SNORKEL George Katehis, 2270 SW. 26th Lane, Miami, Fla. 33133 Filed Mar. 19, 1965, Ser. No. 441,074 6 Claims. (Cl. 128145) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Underwater breathing apparatus of the snorkle type including a face mask covering the eyes and nose only and having a dividing partition therebetween providing separate chambers therefor, including a bearing tube connecting the nose chamber with floating valve means for automatically closing off the other end of the breathing tube to prevent the entrance of water, the breathing tube. at the mask end having floats for buoying it in position to assist in holding the floating valve means erect at the surface of the water.
My invention relates generally to underwater breathing apparatus and particularly to improvements in such apparatus of the type comprising a face mask and attached snorkel tube the remote end of which extends to and floats above the surface of the water to permit breathing while submerged.
In ordinary snorkel type swimming or diving masks, the mask through which breathing is effected covers the entire face, that is, the eyes, nose and month, Within a single chamber the front of which is fitted with a lens or windowto see through. Such masks are deficient in two respects, firstly in that the breathing within the common mask chamber often results in moisture condensation on the inner surface of the window, impairing vision, and, secondly, in that exhaled air is discharged through the breathing tube, loading it along its length with stale air which must be rebreathed during the next inspiration. This loading of the breathing tube with stale air upon exhaling limits their practical length to less than about ten feet.
It is accordingly the principal object of my invention to obviate the above-described deficiencies in ordinary snorkel type diving masks by providing a face mask covering the eyesand nose only, and having a dividing wall or partition between the eyes and nose providing separate chambers therefor, whereby the air being breathed is kept away from the vision window in the front of the eye chamber, and whereby air can be exhaled from the mouth directly into the water instead of being discharged through the air intake or breathing tube.
Another object is to provide an underwater diving apparatus of the character described wherein the front window or lens is of wrap-around shape for further increased visibility, especially to the sides of the wearer.
Yet another object is to provide an underwater diving apparatus of the above nature including improved water trap and valve means at the remote or surface-floating end of the breathing tube preventing the entrance and breathing in of water.
Still another object is to provide an underwater breathing apparatus of the above nature that can operate effectively with breathing tubes having a length of fifty feet or more to permit deep underwater exploration with comfort and good visibility.
Yet another object is to provide a device of the character described which will be com-pact, inexpensive to manufacture and comfortable and dependable in use.
Other objects, features and advantages of my invention will be apparent from the following description when read with reference to the accompanying drawings. In the 3,345,984 Patented Oct. 10, 1967 drawings, wherein like reference numerals denote corresponding parts throughout the several views:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of an underwater breathing apparatus embodying my invention, the mask of which is shown fitted on the face of the wearer and the breathing tube of which, for the most part, is broken away;
FIG. 2 is a horizontal cross-sectional view of the mask, taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the mask taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the water trap and valve mechanism at the remote or floating end of the breathing tube.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, 10 in FIG. 1 designates my improved underwater breathing apparatus, the same being comprised, generally, of a face mask member 11, a breathing tube assembly 12 and a water trap, valve and float assembly 13.
The face mask member 11 has a mask body portion 14, preferably molded of an impervious, resilient material such as soft rubber or the like and provided, at the inside, with a thin, peripheral edge 15 of such contour as to fit closely against the forehead, the cheeks and front of the face between the nose and the mouth of the wearer, as illustrated in FIG. 1. The face mask member 11 is also integrally molded with a thin, transverse, interior partition or wall portion 16 of such form and extent as to bridge an upper portion of the nose and cheek portions of the wearer under the eyes, as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, and thereby divide the interior of the mask into separate compartments or chambers 17 and 18 for the eyes and nose, respectively. The front of the eye chamber portion of the mask has molded or otherwise secured therein a curved, wrap-around window or lens 19, preferably of a transparent synthetic plastic material. The front of the nose chamber portion of the mask has a forwardly-projecting portion 20, as best illustrated in FIG. 2, to accommodate the nose of the wearer. Short, flexible, breathing tube sections 21, 22 communicate at one end with openings at each side of the forwardly-projecting portion 20 of the mask, the other ends of said tube sections being joined, one each with arcuate tube portions 23, 24, forming part of the breathing tube assembly 12, and which, in use, extend upwardly and around the outside of the mask to connect with the opposed arms of a T-fitting 25. A long breathing tube 26 connects at one end to the T-fitting 25 and extends, in use, to the water trap, valve and float assembly 13, being attached thereto as hereinbelow described. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the face mask member 11 is fitted with upper and lower adjustable straps 27, 28 which fit around the back of the head above and below the ears to hold the mask snugly against the face of the wearer in such a manner as to prevent water leakage into the eye and nose chambers 17 and 18. Floats 29 and 30, which may be of a buoyant material such as cork or an air-foam synthetic plastic material, are fitted near the outer ends of the arcuate tube portions 23, 24 to lift them around and above the face and head of the wearer when under water, as illustrated in FIG. 1.
The water trap, valve and float assembly 13 comprises a body member 31, which may be of tough lightweight synthetic plastic material, for example, and which is formed with a first tubular portion 32 and a comparatively short second tubular portion 33 joined in spaced parallel relation to the upper end of said first tubular portion as by a connecting wall portion 34. The connecting wall portion 34 is formed, near its upper end, with a lateral hollow boss 35 providing a passageway 36 com- 3 municating between the first and second tubular portions 32 and 33. The lower end of the first tubular portion 32 has an increased diameter portion 37 providing a socket within which the upper end of the breathing tube 26 is received and secured in any convenient fashion, such as by the use of a suitable bonding cement.
Means is provided to support the body member 31 above the surface of the water. To this end, the increased diameter portion 37 of the body member 31 is fitted with laterally-extending pins 38 (only one shown in FIG. 1) journaling a lever 39 having a rearwardly-extending lever arm 40 carrying on its remote end a spherical float 41, and a comparatively short, forwardly-extending arm 42 the outer end of which is formed in a loop 42a loosely surrounding a vertical piston rod 43 between spaced flanges 44, 45 formed thereon for cooperative action of said lever and said piston rod as is hereinbelow more fully described.
The lower end of the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31 is formed with a reduced-diameter, externally-threaded neck portion 46 threaded upon which is a cylindrical housing member 47 the side and bottom walls of which are perforated, as indicated at 48, for the through passage of water.
The upper end of the first tubular portion 32 of the body member 31 is sealed off by an end wall 49, against the outside of which is secured, as by screws 50, a bracket 51, the outer end of which is disposed in spaced relation with respect to the upper end of the second tubular portion 33 of said body member. The piston rod 43 is coaxially arranged within the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31 and the housing member 47, and is slidingly supported at its upper end in the opening 52 in the bracket 51, and at its lower end an Opening '53 in the bottom wall of the housing member 47. A valve member 55 having a depending, hollow, hemispherical portion 55a is fixed on the piston rod 43 at a central position therealong. Fixed near the upper end of the piston rod 43 and normally bearing against the underside of the bracket 51 is a valve member 56 formed with a depending, hollow, hemispherical portion 57. A buoyant float valve 58 surrounds the piston rod 43 within the housing member 47, being operative to float and seal off the mouth of the neck portion 46 of the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31 upon the flooding of said housing member, for the purpose hereinafter described.
In operation, the float 41 with the help of floats 29 and 30 serves to support the water trap, float and valve assembly 13 upon the surface of the water so that air can be breathed in through the opening at the upper end of the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31, the passageway 36 and the first tubular portion 32 of said body member. In this connection, it is to be noted that the floats 29 and 30 serve to maintain the arcuate tube portions 23 and 24 in the vertical position above the swimmer, no matter whether his face is directed upwardly or downwardly, as permitted by the flexible breathing tube section 21, 22. The breathing tube 26, being comparatively rigid, thus tends to .assist in holding the valve and float assembly 13 in erect position above the water at all times when the swimmer is not too deep in the water. If wave water should accidentally spill into the upper end of the tubular portion 33, it will fall down past the valve member 55 through the neck portion 46 and out again through housing perforations 48, without interferrin-g with breathing through the breathing tube 26. In this connection it is to be noted that the passageway 36 is downwardly inclined from the first to the second tubular portions of the body member 31, to drain water away from the breathing tube 26. Flooding of the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31 as a result of sudden swells from underneath, for example, is prevented by the float valve 58, as is hereinabove described. If accidental pulling upon the breathing tube from below the surface of the water begins to submege the water trap, valve and float assembly 13, the resultant upward swinging of the float 41 will pull down upon the piston rod 43 to first carry the valve member 55 into sealing engagement against the inner end of the neck portion 46 of the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31, thereby sealing off the entrance from below of water into said second tubular portion, in addition to the protection afforded by the float valve 58 described above. The arrangement is such that the valve member 55 will seal before the hemispherical valve 56 is brought down far enough to seal off the upper end of the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31, so that the breathing passageway still remains open if the device is not pulled still further under the surface of the water. If the device is pulled still deeper in the water, however, to an extent that threatens flooding over the top of the second tubular portion 33 of the body member 31, the float 41 will be swung upwardly far enough and the piston rod 43 will correspondingly be pulled down far enough to carry its valve 56 into sealing engagement against the upper end of said second tubular portion to completely seal off the breathing tube 26, the resiliency of the hemispherical portion 55a of the Valve member 55 permitting such small additional downward movement of said piston rod as is required to effect seating the valve 56. The diver, encountering difficulty in breathing will immediately recognize the cause and release or otherwise loosen the breathing line so that it can assume its normal and proper floating position again.
It will be apparent from the foregoing description that my apparauts permits breathing in through the nose and expelling air through the mouth directly into the water, so as not to load the breathing tube with stale air. Thus the breathing tube can be unusually long, up to fifty feet or more, to permit a wide range of underwater exploration without breathing difliculty.
It will also be understood that the device can be used with a relatively short and rigid breathing tube 26 for use of the apparatus as an ordinary snorkel for shallow underwater swimming in rough water or for diving with the snorkel. When used in snorkeling near the surface of the water the float 41 will normally be held above the surface of the water by action of the floats 29 and 30 so that the float 41 will :hang down by gravity action, thereby normally keeping the ball valves 55 and 56 open. As described above, the valves 55, 56 and 58 will close when necessary to keep water from entering the breathing tube.
Whie there is illustrated and described herein only one form in which the invention may conveniently be embodied in practice, it is to be understood that this form is presented by way of example only, and not in a limiting sense. The invention, in brief, comprises all the embodiments and modifications coming within the scope and spirit of the following claims.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patentis:
1. An underwater breathing apparatus comprising, in combination, a generally concave face mask member having a flexible peripherial edge of such contour as to fit against the seal off a face area extending laterally between the cheeks and longitudinally between the forehead and a Zone between the lower part of the nose and the upper lip of the wearer, a lateral partition within said face mask and having a flexible outer edge of such position and form as to fit against the face below the eyes and over the bridge of the nose to divide the interior of said mask into two separate chambers, one for the eyes and one for the nose, a wrap-around window in the front of the eye chamber portion of said mask permitting vision to the sides as well as to the front of the wearer, strap means for securing the mask against the face of the wearer, elongated breathing tube means having one end in communication with the nose chamber of said mask for supplying fresh air to the wearer, means supporting the other .end of said breathing tube means above the surface of a body of water, said supporting means comprising valve means for automatically closing off the other end of said breathing tu-be means to prevent the entrance of water, said breathing tube means at one end thereof comprising a pair of arcuate tube portions flexibly joined at one end to said nose chamber and extending outwardly to each side of said mask, a T-fitting, the other ends of said arcuate tube portions being fixed to and in communication with the opposed arms of said T-fitting, float means for buoying up said other ends of said arcuate tube portions when said mask is worn under water, and a tube connected at one end to and communicating with the remaining arm of said T-fitting.
2. An underwater breathing apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said means supporting the other end of said breathing tube means above the surface of a body of water comprises a rigid tubular member at said other end of said breathing tube means and in air flow communication therewith, a float lever pivotally attached to said tubular member intermediate its length for vertical swinging motion with respect thereto and having a float at one end thereof, and valve means controlled by said vertical swinging of said float lever for sealing 01f said other end of said breathing tube means.
3. An underwater breathing apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said means supporting the other end of said breathing tube means above the surface of a body of water comprises a rigid housing member at the other end of said flexible tube and having an interior air passage in communication therewith, a float lever pivotally attached intermediate its length to said housing member for vertical swinging motion with respect thereto and having a float at one end thereof, and valve means in said housing member and controlled by said vertical swinging of said float lever for sealing off said internal passage.
4. An underwater breathing apparatus as defined in claim 3 including an opening in the lower end of said housing member, float valve means in said housing member for sealing otf said opening when the lower end of said housing member is submerged in water.
5. An underwater breathing apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein said housing member comprises a first tubular portion and a second tubular portion secured in spaced parallel relation to said first tubular portion, and wherein said valve means comprises a central rod axially movable on said second tubular portion and linked at its lower end to the other end of said float lever, said other end of said flexible tube being connected to the lower end of said first tubular portion, the upper end of said first tubular portion being sealed off, an air passageway communicating between said first and second tubular portions intermediate their lengths, a hemispherical ball valve carried on the upper end of said rod and movable down into engagement with the upper end of said second tubular portion upon swinging movement of said lever of sealing off the entrance of water thereto, an annular valve seat at the interior of said second tubular portion at the lower end thereof, a second hemispherical ball valve carried by said rod and movable down into seating engagement with said valve seat upon swinging movement of said lever for sealing off the entrance of water, said ball valves being so positioned that said second ball valve will seat before said first mentioned ball valve, and said second ball valve being resilient to permit continue downward movement of said rod after said second ball valve has been seated.
6. An underwater breathing apparatus as defined in claim 5 including float valve means at the lower end of said second tubular portion for sealing it off when the lower end of said housing member is submerged in water.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,824,512 9/1931 Szamier 128-145 X 2,238,492 4/1941 Leguillon 12814l 2,303,155 11/1942 Berge 128-145 2,725,876 12/1955 Maille 128-142 3,186,005 6/1965 Gentile 2-9 RICHARD A. GAUDET, Primary Examiner.
W. E. KAMM, Assistant Examiner.