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Publication numberUS3754291 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 28, 1973
Filing dateNov 26, 1971
Priority dateNov 26, 1971
Publication numberUS 3754291 A, US 3754291A, US-A-3754291, US3754291 A, US3754291A
InventorsHarris J, Hellman R
Original AssigneeDel Amo Enterprises Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Quick release life saving equipment
US 3754291 A
Abstract
Life saving equipment in which a life buoy is disposed in a container having a fall-away construction defined by pivotal connections between a front wall and bottom wall and between a rear wall and the bottom wall. A remote cable release interconnects a latching component on the front wall and stationary portion of the container. A float pole is connected by a line to the life buoy and disposed in the container for substantially simultaneous release with the life buoy. The life buoy is formed with ends curved in horseshoe manner and a drogue and signal generator, connected by a line to the life buoy, may be stored between the buoy ends.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Harris et a1.

QUICK RELEASE LIFE SAVING EQUIPMENT {75] inventors: John L. Harris; Robert W. Hellman,

both of Marina Del Rey, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Del Amo Enterprises, Inc., Torrance,

Calif.

[22] Filed: Nov. 26, 1971 [21] Appl. No.: 202,255

[52] 11.8. CI...... 9/14, 114/190 [51] Int. Cl. B63c 9/22 [58] Field of Search 9/190, 14, 8 R; 221/154; 244/107; 220/34; 114/209 [56} References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,773,462 8/1930 Lambdin 114/190 1,818,597 8/1931 Adams et al.. 244/107 2,118,708 5/1938 Johnson 9/14 2,418,549 4/1947 DeRugeris 9/9 2,784,425 3/1957 Bicknell 114/209 X 3,675,257 7/1972 Hagland 9/14 1,755,444 4/1930 Hush 220/34 1,216,330 2/1917 Kroseng 220/34 561,807 6/1896 McLellan 9/311 Primary Examiner-Milton Buchler Assistant Examiner-Gregory W. OConnor Attorney-Robert Berliner et a1.

{57] ABSTRACT Life saving equipment in which a life buoy is disposed in a container having a fall-away construction defined by pivotal connections between a front wall and bottom wall and between a rear wall and the bottom wall, A remote cable release interconnects a latching component on the front wall and stationary portion of the container. A float pole is connected by a line to the life buoy and disposed in the container for substantially simultaneous release with the life buoy. The life buoy is formed with ends curved in horseshoe manner and a drogue and signal generator, connected by a line to the life buoy, may be stored between the buoy ends.

16 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures QUICK RELEASE LIFE SAVING EQUIPMENT CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a Continuation-in-Part of application Ser. No. 41,506, filed May 28, I970, entitled LIFE SAVING EQUIPMENT, now US. Pat. No. 3,696,453.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION The field of art to which the invention pertains includes the field of buoyant devices, and containers therefor, particularly as combined with other life saving device.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In view of the inherent dangers involved in boating, Coast Guard regulations require that life preservers of specified types be carried and a variety of man overboard" devices are available for use on boats of all classes. When boating far from shore where high swells are common, the danger of accidental drowning are increased by the difficulty of keeping an overboard person in sight in rough water. As an additional safety precaution boats which are used under such conditions should carry a float pole (also called a man overboard pole) which is connected to a life buoy and which is thrown to the man overboard with the life buoy. The float pole is equipped with a flag which extends several feet out of the water, aiding location of the buoy. Additionally, particularly for use on a motorboat, a drogue can be attached to the life buoy to stabilize the location of the life buoy and prevent it from being dragged along with the boat. Other devices such as a signal generator utilizing a strobe light, dye marker, shark repellent and a whistle can be connected to the buoy so that the man overboard can be more readily located. i

Thus, for safest operation of a boat under heavy sea conditions, a conglomeration of safety devices must be assembled and stored for ready access. However, the number of such devices and their diverse structures make ready storage and access difficult so that the greater number of such devices the longer the period of time required to get them to a man overboard. The result of attempting to utilize a plurality of such devices on a fast moving boat is to often reduce safety as compared to the use of a single device.

The present invention provides a mechanism for assembling a plurality of life saving devices in a single location and which provides ready and immediate access to the devices. In particular, a life buoy and a float pole are releasably secured in a container for rapid and substantially simultaneous release. The container is formed in a fall-away construction defined by pivotal connections between a front wall and a bottom wall and between a rear wall and the bottom wall. Side walls, extending upright from the bottom wall, space the rear and front walls and form a roof therebetween. A remote cable release interconnects latching components on the roof and front wall. A float pole is connected by a line to the life buoy and is disposed in the container, in a slot through the roof, for substantially simultaneous release with the life buoy. The life buoy is formed with ends curved in horseshoe manner and a foldable drogue and automatic strobe light signal generator are stored between the ends of the life buoy. The float pole is disposed anteriorly of the life buoy and may be weighted at its bottom end to bear down on the bottom wall, facilitating fallaway action of the front wall and bottom wall when the latching components are released. The float pole is swept ouwardly when the life buoy is released. The float pole can be telescopically collapsed and spring loaded in its collapsed configuration so that upon its release it rapidly expands to full length. A whistle, dye washer and shark repellent are connected to the life buoy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating life saving equipment of this invention mounted aft of a boat;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the components constituting the life saving equipment of this invention after release thereof;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1, in the direction of the arrows; and

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the top portion of the container, taken on line 44 of FIG. 3, in the direction of the arrows, and illustrating the interconnection of cable release, latching components and float pole.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. I, there is illustrated one method of mounting the containerized life saving equipment provided herein. A boat 10 is shown having a housing or container 12 for the life saving equipment mounted aft of the boat so that the front or ejection end of the container 12 is the rearward most point of the boat. The container can be mounted to the guard rail I3 and faces rearwardly. A float pole 14 is shown extending upright from the container 12 and is telescopically collapsed as will be detailed hereinafter. Other arrangements for mounting the container 12 will be utilized as desired as appropriate to the particular boat. The container 12 can be used with any of the standard commercially available float poles which are not telescopic and can be mounted at an angle whereby the flag end of the float pole is contained within a snap-on flag sleeve to a backstay cable as is presently customary. However, such additional securement can detract from the readyrelease advantages of the present construction.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the components of the containerized assembly are illustrated. The major component is a life buoy which can be any of the conventional rigid life buoys constructed of cork or of other light material. However, certain advantages accrue in the present invention by utilizing a life buoy having ends 18 and 20 curved in horseshoe manner, as illustrated, in that other components as will be described, can be stored between the ends 18 and 20.

The float pole 14, also called a man overboard" pole, can be of conventional design, but in this embodiment is of collapsible, telescopic construction. The float pole I4 includes a lower tubular member 22 which is hollow over its major upper length and to which is secured, toward its top, a float 24 of cork or the like having a plastic or canvas covering. The bottom portion of the lower tubular member 22 is filled with lead to form a weight 25 for purposes hereinafter described. A line 26 is attached to the float 24 and connects to the top of the buoy 16. An upper tubular member 28, somewhat narrower than the lower tubular member 22 and which may be tapered to its top end 30, is telescopically disposed within the bottom tubular member 22 and is supported therein by means of a coil spring 31 between the bottom of the upper tubular member 28 and the weight 25. A flag 32 is carried at the top end 30 of the upper tubular member 28. For the line 26, one can use 25 feet of /16 inch plastic line, or any other conventional line.

In addition to the float pole 14 and life buoy 16, there is also provided a drogue 34 which is connected to an automatic strobe light 35 and from there to the life buoy 16 by pendants 36 and 37, each of three to five feet. The drogue 34 is constructed with spring loaded steel ribs such as at 38 so that it springs open when released from a folded position. The automatic strobe light 35 is of well known construction and is battery powered to blink when its lamp housing 39 is in an upward position. The strobe is disposed in the container 12, with the lamp housing 39 in a downward, off position. However, when ejected, a weighted top end 40 disposes the lamp housing 39 upright causing the strobe to operate. A rubber float 41 girdling the strobe 35 keeps it afloat.

In addition to the foregoing devices, one may also attach other life saving devices as desired. For example, a whistle 42 is attached by a pendant 43 to the top of the life buoy l6 and apertured envelopes 44 and 46 containing dye marker and shark repellent, respectively, are attached to the buoy 16 by means of straps 48 and 49, respectively. Each of these devices is useful for aiding and protecting the location of a man overboard and their use is well known to experienced boaters.

In accordance with this invention, a container 12 is provided for storing the aforedescribed life saving devices and is constructed in such a manner as to allow their rapid release. The container 12 includes a bottom wall 50, a rear wall 51 and side walls 52 and 54. The side walls 52 and 54 are formed integral with the rear wall 51 and extend upright from the bottom wall 50 to join and form a roof 56. The bottom wall 50 is connected by a hinge 58 to a minor extension portion 61 of the rear wall 51, the hinge 58 being arranged so that the bottom wall 50 pivots freely downwardly from the extension portion 61. A front wall or lid 60 is provided for closing the container 12 and is connected by a hinge 62 to the forward edge of the bottom wall 50. The lid hinge 62 is arranged so that the lid 60 pivots freely downwardly from the bottom wall 50. As a result of the pivotal interrelationship of the lid 60, bottom wall 50 and rear wall 51, the lid 60 is able to fall freely away when it is unlatched, as described hereinafter, to immediately release the life saving components. The minor extension portion 61 of the rear wall 51 has insufficient depth to interfere with such release, but serves to aid in reloading the components into the compartment. The lid 60 is formed with an integral lip 63 around its upper perimeter which is coterminous with the side walls 52 and 54 and roof 56. Mounting holes, such as at 65, are defined through the rear wall 51 for mounting the container onto the rail 13 in the manner depicted in FIG. 1. However, other mounting means may be provided as convenient. The container 12 can be constructed from fiberglass or other waterproof, durable material and a drain hole 64 can be provided in the bottom wall 50.

Referring additionally to FIG. 4, the roof 56 is formed with a slot 66 which is deeper than the width of the lower tubular member 22 of the float pole l4 and accommodates the float pole 14 anteriorly of the life buoy 16. The float pole 14 is formed with openings 68 and 70 in its lower and upper members 22 and 28, respectively, which coincide just above the roof 56 when the float pole 14 is telescopically collapsed and inserted into the container 12, as will be described. The roof 56 and adjacent portion of the lid lip 63 carry interlacing latch staples 72, 72 and 74, respectively, the loops of which coincide with the openings 68 and 70 in the lower and upper float pole members 22 and 28. A re mote cable release 76 is provided having flexible conduit 78 and shaft components terminating at its rear end with a handle 82 and at its forward end with a pin 84. The conduit 78 is secured at its forward end to the roof 56, by a sleeve bolted to the roof 56, so that the pin 84 extends through the interlaced staples 72, 72' and 74 and through the openings 68 and 70 in the collapsed float pole 14.

The cable release pin 84 thus locks the lid 60 in an upright position and secures the float pole 14 telescopically collapsed. The cable can be any length which is convenient to the boat 10 and desired location of the handle 82, generally about 6-20 feet long, and provides a remote release capability at any desired point. The rear end of the cable 76 is fitted with a coil spring 87 connected to and biasing the handle to a closed position. The rear end of the cable 76 is fitted with a sleeve 86 which can be secured at the desired location so that when the handle 82 is pulled, the pin.84 is withdrawn from the float pole openings 68 and 70 and latch staples 72, 72' and 74.

Referring particularly to FIG. 3, in packing the container 12, the drogue 34 is folded and placed between the ends 20 and 22 of the life buoy 16, along with the strobe light 35 and other ancillary devices such as the whistle 42. The life buoy 16, folded drogue 34 and other small components are placed in the container 12 and leaned rearwardly against the rear wall extension portion 61. The float pole 14 is then inserted with its weighted end 25 on the bottom wall 50 and the upper tubular member 28 is pushed downwardly into the lower tubular member 22 to telescopically collapse the float pole 14. Prior to collapsing the float pole 14, the flag 32 may be wrapped closely about the upper end 30 of the upper tubular member 28 so that it may slide easily into the lower tubular member 22. The coil spring 31 interconnects the bottom of the tubular members 22 and 28 so that when the upper tubular member 28 is inserted into the lower tubular member 22 it is spring loaded therein and when released is forced to an expanded condition. Holding the float pole 14 in its collapsed position, with the weighted end 25 thereof on the bottom wall 50, the cable release pin is pushed back against the force of the spring 85 and the float pole-14 is positioned in the roof slot 66. The lid 60 is raised and closed against the float pole l4 and the cable pin 84 is released to slide through the staples 72. 72' and 74 and through the openings 68 and 70 in the float pole 14, securing the lid 60 in an upright position and securing the float pole 14 in its collapsed configuration.

In operation, one need merely pull the cable release handle 82 to withdraw the cable pin 84 whereupon the float pole l4 springs to its extended configuration and the lid 60 and bottom wall 50 immediately fall away downwardly about their pivot hinges 62 and 58, respectively, aided by the float pole weight 25. The life buoy 16, float pole l4 and other components within the container thereupon fall away from the boat 10, as illustrated in FIG. 2.

There is thus provided a mechanism for the rapid and substantially simultaneous release of a plurality of life saving devices. As required, a detailed illustrative embodiment of the invention has been disclosed. However, it is to be understood that this embodiment merely exemplifies the invention which may take many different forms different from the embodiment specifically disclosed. Therefore specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but as a basis for the claims which define the scope of the invention.

We claim 1. Life saving equipment comprising:

a life buoy;

a container for said life buoy comprising a rear wall,

a front wall a bottom wall between said front and rear walls and a pair of oppositely disposed side walls;

means for pivotal interconnection between said bottom wall and said rear wall;

means for pivotal interconnection between said bottom wall and said front wall;

means for releasably securing said front wall in an upright position; and

said buoy being disposed between said rear wall and said upright front wall and between said side walls and supported on said bottom wall whereby, upon release of said front wall, said front wall and said bottom wall pivot downwardly to release said buoy.

2. The invention according to claim 1 including a roof secured to said rear wall between said rear wall and said upright front wall, said releasably securing means comprising latch components carried on said roof and said front wall.

3. The invention according to claim 2 including means for connecting and releasing said latch components.

4. The invention according to claim 1 in which said releasably securing means comprises connecting means having a first position for engaging said front wall and having a second position for disengagement from said front wall, and including remote means spaced substantially from said securing means for moving said connecting means from said first position to said second position.

5. The invention according to claim 4 in which said securing means comprises a first latch component on said front wall and a stationary second latch component, said connecting means interconnecting said first and second latch components in said first position and disconnecting from said first latch component in said second position.

6. The invention according to claim 2 including connecting means for engaging said latch component and remote means spaced substantially from said latch components disengaging said connecting means from the latch component carried on said front wall.

7. The invention according to claim 1 including a float pole and means for connecting said float pole to said life buoy, comprising a line therebetween.

8. The invention according to claim 7 in which said front wall is formed to secure said float pole adjacent to said life buoy for substantially simultaneous release thereof.

9. The invention according to claim 7 in which said releasably securing means is formed to releasably engage said float pole.

10. The invention according to claim 7 in which said float pole is telescopically collapsible and spring loaded in collapsed form for rapid expansion when released.

11. The invention according to claim 10 including means for releasable engagement of said securing means to said float pole to secure said float pole in spring loaded configuration.

12. The invention according to claim 7 in which said float pole is weighted substantially heavier on its bottom end than along other comparable lengths thereof.

13. The invention according to claim 1 in which said life buoy is formed with ends curved in horseshoe manner.

14. The invention according to claim 13 including a drogue foldable for storage between said ends and means for connecting said drogue to said life buoy.

15. The invention according to claim 13 including a signal generating member disposed between the ends of said life buoy and means for connecting said signal generating member to said life buoy.

l6. Lifesaving equipment, comprising:

a life buoy;

a container for said life buoy comprising a rear wall, a front wall and a bottom wall between said front and rear walls;

means for pivotal interconnection between said bottom wall and said rear wall;

means for pivotal interconnection between said bottom wall and said front wall;

means for releasably securing said front wall in an upright position;

a float pole and means for connecting said float pole to said life buoy, comprising a line therebetween; and

a roof between said rear wall and said upright wall, said roof defining a slot therethrough for said float pole whereby said float pole may be secured upright from said base;

said buoy being disposed between said rear wall and said upright front wall and supported on said bottom wall whereby, upon release of said front wall, said front wall and said bottom wall pivot downwardly to release said buoy.

Patent Citations
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US561807 *Feb 27, 1896Jun 9, 1896 Buoy or life-preserver
US1216330 *Jul 12, 1916Feb 20, 1917Axel E KrosengReceptacle.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4000533 *Aug 12, 1974Jan 4, 1977Intercontinental Marine LimitedAnchoring device for buoyant life saving equipment
US4014057 *Jun 13, 1975Mar 29, 1977Kalervo KuojarviChain-like rescue devices particularly for small boats
US4031583 *Dec 22, 1975Jun 28, 1977The B. F. Goodrich CompanyInflatable emergency equipment deployment device
US4063323 *Feb 14, 1977Dec 20, 1977Salvarezza Robert MRing buoy with automatic separation of smoke signal buoy from strobe light buoy
US4155132 *Aug 9, 1977May 22, 1979Mastep (Plastics) Ltd.Rescue equipment
US4228556 *Apr 10, 1978Oct 21, 1980Searls Henry HAutomatically energizable lifesaving equipment
US4498879 *Jan 31, 1983Feb 12, 1985Halkey-Roberts CorporationEmergency rescue device
US4702715 *Jun 6, 1986Oct 27, 1987Winick Alan LAutomatic emergency rescue apparatus
US4841892 *Apr 27, 1988Jun 27, 1989Billy Pugh Co., Inc.Article cover and shelter
US4883242 *Feb 14, 1987Nov 28, 1989Messerschmitt-Boelkow-Blohm GmbhPacking sack for a life jacket and its easy access storage, especially in an aircraft
US5102360 *Jun 27, 1990Apr 7, 1992Eycleshimer Robert GShipboard container for survival equipment
US5297576 *Oct 16, 1992Mar 29, 1994Halkey-Roberts CorporationOral inflation and relief tube
US6935911Jan 19, 2004Aug 30, 2005Kristin L StewartAquatic alarm, security and rescue station
EP1093998A2 *Oct 19, 2000Apr 25, 2001COMET GmbH Pyrotechnik-ApparatebauMethod for the recovery of a person fallen overboard, lifesaving arrangement and apparatus for holding signalling means
WO1984002891A1 *Jan 23, 1984Aug 2, 1984Halkey Roberts CorpEmergency rescue device
Classifications
U.S. Classification441/80, 114/190
International ClassificationB63C9/20, B63C9/00, B63C9/22
Cooperative ClassificationB63C9/20, B63C9/22
European ClassificationB63C9/20, B63C9/22