|Publication number||US3777498 A|
|Publication date||Dec 11, 1973|
|Filing date||Jul 29, 1971|
|Priority date||Jul 29, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3777498 A, US 3777498A, US-A-3777498, US3777498 A, US3777498A|
|Inventors||Andrews D, Kuhlman O|
|Original Assignee||Andrews D, Kuhlman O|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (12), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1 Andrews et al.
[ Dec. 11, 1973 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING DIVER OPERATIONS Inventors: Del Andrews, 630 Porter Ln.,
Hermosa Beach, Calif. 90254; Ora Florentine Kuhlman, 4258 Exultant Dr., Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif. 90274 Filed: July 29,1971
Appl. No.: 167,288
US. Cl. 61/69 R, 150/1 Int. Cl. 1163c 11/00 Field of Search 61/63, 69, 70;
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 7/1962 Tyler 61/69 x 12/1964 Lamarthe 150/3 X 11/1964 Esty 150/] X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 689,307 6/1964 Canada 150/1 Primary Examiner-J. Karl Bell Att0rney-Vincent C. Tyrrell  ABSTRACT A flexible divers bag which maybe inflated by a diver at a submerged location. The bag includes a perforate section within which an article such as a game specimen may be disposed. A bag closure mechanism operably independent of a bag buoyancy chamber means, is also provided.
8 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures PATENTEI] DEC] I I975 sum 10? 2 2 INVENTORS DEL ANDREWS METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR FACILITATING DIVER OPERATIONS GENERAL BACKGROUND, OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION Diving operations are frequently attended by the necessity of transporting articles between a submerged location and the surface of a body of water.
For example, during skin or scuba diving operations, a diver may desire to transport an aquatic life specimen, a geological specimen, a diver accessory, or some other submerged article to a surface location.
While the desire or necessity of transporting articles of this nature and in this manner frequently arises, it is important that the transportation of articles not adversely affect or encumber diving operations themselves. Likewise it is important that, whatever means is employed to effect the transportation of articles, the transportation means be immediately accessible to the diver at a submerged location and that this means be capable of convenient manipulation and control.
Several factors would contribute to an effective and reliable transportation operation of the nature heretofore described.
For example, a transportation mechanism which could be stored in a compact condition during a divers descent would be desirable. It would also be desirable that such a mechanism be able to be rendered buoyant at a submerged location by a diver, without resort to special equipment.
It would likewise be desirable for such a mechanism to provide positive entrapment of an article to be transported, while concurrently permitting access by a diver or other individual to the article for the purpose of positioning it within the mechanism or retrieving it from the mechanism.
In this connection, it would be desirable to provide access control which is not interfered with or adversely affected by other elements of the mechanism, including any buoyancy system. I
Where the mechanism is to be employed for transporting acquatic specimens, including game specimens (i.e., fish, abalone, lobsters, etc.), it would be desirable to provide for a continuous circulation of water between the exterior of the mechanism and the interior zone of the mechanism where the article is located or contained.
In keeping with the requirements of these criteria, resulting themselves from the present invention, it is of interest to note certain developments achieved in the diver art and container art heretofore.
For example, in a Mitchell U.S. Pat. No. 3,045,262, there is presented a diver accessory including a buoyancy mechanism with a perforate specimen containing chamber. This chamber provides for a circulation of water between the specimen and the exterior of the mechanism. However, the Mitchell article is permanently buoyant and rigid and could not be conveniently transported or utilized at a submerged location.
An inflatable and flexible container for securing fish is described in Sears U.S. Pat. No. 3,025,629. However, the Sears container is not contemplated as being submergible. Indeed, the basic function of the Sears container is to provide continuous buoyancy so as to prevent the submergence of the container.
It should further be noted that the Sears container contemplates the use of an inflated toroid as a mechanism for concurrently providing buoyancy and container closure control. Unless the Sears container is buoyant, it may not be closed. Thus, it could not be used at a submerged location, while non-buoyant, to confine specimens or other articles.
Significantly neither Mitchell nor Sears discloses a device for controlling the buoyancy of a diver accessory, which buoyancy control device could be conveniently operated at a submerged location by the diver so as to effect either increases or decreases in buoyancy.
Thus, recognizing deficiencies in the priorart, of the type heretofore noted, and bearing in mind the basic objectives which would be desirable as outlined above, the present invention contemplates a unique method of facilitating certain diver operations.
In the practice of this method a diver bag means is disposed at a submerged location. A diver positions an article in the diver bag means, which article means may be selected from a group comprising diver accessory means, aquatic life specimens, geological specimens, or other submerged means. A circulation of fluid is permitted between the exterior of the bag means and the article means disposed therewithin. Buoyancy means included in the diver bag means may be inflated by the diver at a submerged site to render the diver bag means buoyant.
At some point in time during the performance of this method, the diver bag means is closed, with the article means being disposed therewithin.
The diver bag means may be caused to ascend or descend through a body of water, depending on its buoyancy, as adjusted by a diver.
Another aspect of the invention, by way of an apparatus innovation, comprises a diver bag means which is operable to contain an article means of the type above noted.
This bag means includes a perforate portion, an imperforate portion and closure control means.
The imperforate portion provides buoyancy chamber means, the buoyancy of which may be selectively adjusted by a diver at a submerged location.
The closure control means is operably independent of a buoyancy chamber means.'
Other aspects of the invention worthy of note, and which are of individual significance, pertain to (l) specific structure of a check valve arrangement associated with the buoyancy chamber means, (2) an arrangement of tubuler and stiffener components which provides closure control, and (3) an arrangement which permits the flexible bag wall means to be rolled around a relatively stiff core.
DRAWINGS In describing the invention reference will be made to a preferred embodiment shown in the appended drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 provides a perspective view, generally in elevation, illustrating a diver bag means of the present invention disposed in an upright orientation, with closure control means thereof providing an open aperture;
FIG. 2 provides a sectional view of buoyancy chamber means of the FIG. 1 mechanism, as viewed along Section Line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 provides a perspective fragmentary view of a closure control component of the FIG. 1 diver bag mechanism, illustrating the closure control mechanism disposed to close the bag aperture;
FIG. 4 provides a transverse sectional view of the embodiment of a closure control mechanism which is incorporated in the FIG. 1 mechanism;
FIG. 5 provides a transverse sectional view of an alternative closure control mechanism which may be incorporated in the FIG. 1 mechanism;
FIG. 6 provides a perspective view of a buoyancy chamber controlling, check valve mechanism which may be included in the FIG. 1 mechanism;
FIG. 7 provides an end elevation of the FIG. 6 valve mechanism, viewing FIG. 6 from left to right;
FIG. 8 provides a transverse sectional view of the FIG. 6 check valve mechanism as viewed along Section Line 8-8 of FIG. 6; and
FIG. 9 provides a transverse sectional view of the FIG. 6 valve mechanism as viewed along Section Line 99 of FIG. 8.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In describing certain preferred embodiments of the invention, attention will first be devoted to structural details of a diver game bag. Thereafter the manner in which this diver game bag may be employed to facilitate diver operations will be discussed.
STRUCTURE OF GAME BAG A diver game bag 1, fabricated in accordance with the present invention, is illustrated in FIG. 1.
Bag 1 includes, as its principal components, a lower perforate section 2, an upper generally imperforate and buoyant section 3, and an aperture defining portion 4, and closure control means 5.
The lower portion 2 provides a perforate or foraminous bag portion operable to contain articles of a diverse nature. The perforate nature of the lower bag section 2 permits a free flow of water between an article (or articles) in the interior of the bag 1 and the exterior of the bag 1.
Articles which may be contained within the interior of the bag may comprise aquatic specimens, such as fish, abalone, lobsters, etc. Additionally, a diver may insert articles such as geological specimens, diver accessories, or other submerged means into the interior of the bag 1 for storage or transportation purposes.
The lower portion 2 may be assembled from an overlapped sheet of mesh material or from a pair of sheets or webs of mesh material, possibly fabricated from acrylic material. Thus bottom portion 2 may be fabricated from a first, generally planar, flexible and perforate mesh wall means 6 and a second, generally planar, flexible and'perforate mesh wall means 7. These first and second mesh wall means 6 and 7, respectively, may
be bonded or interconnected by conventional seaming, edging, or edge fold techniques along flexible side portions 8 and 9 and a flexible bottom portion 10.
The upper, generally imperforate, but flexible diver bag portion 3 may be fabricated from a plurality of generally planar, flexible, and imperforate wall means (possibly provided by unitary sheet means) which are operable to define an inflatable buoyancy chamber.
Thus upper section 3 may comprise a pair of inner and outer, vinyl coated, nylon walls 11 and 12.
Walls 11 and 12 generally encircle the interior 13 of the game bag 1, when the game bag is disposed in an open condition as shown in FIG. 1. Access to the interior 13 is provided by aperture defining means 4, which aperture defining means defines a top mouth of bag aperture 14 in the open bag condition. This aperture defining means 4 may comprise the upper bag periphery or edge means.
Opening 13 extends from aperture 14, between spaced portions of wall means 11 and the spaced walls 6 and 7, to the bag bottom edge 10.
Walls 11 and 12 may be provided with upper and lower bond or seam zones 15a and 15b, such that the seam zones or bond zones 15a and 15b, in cooperation with the imperforate wall means 11 and 12, define a buoyancy chamber means 16.
Depending upon the fabrication technique employed, the buoyancy chamber 16 may be continuous in nature and fully encircle the interior 13 of the'open bag. Alternatively chamber 16 may extend from a fabrication zone 3b, joining walls 11 and 12 and extending along one side of the bag portion 3, in a generally counter-clockwise direction about the interior 13 (viewing the bag as shown in FIG. 1) and terminate at seam or bond zone 3b. It would also be possible, through appropriate buoyancy chamber seam or boundary zone definitions, to provide buoyancy chamber means which are only partially contiguous with the entire periphery of the bag portion 3.
In any event it is contemplated that the capacity of buoyancy chamber 16, in a desired embodiment, will be sufficient to provide floatation for at least one and preferably two divers. This floatation would be adequate to support the diver or two divers at the surface of a body of water.
As will be appreciated from the foregoing discussion, wall means 11 and 12, in essence, provide a generally planar or sheet-like structure which defines an upward continuation of wall means 6 and 7. A conventional seam or bond 3a, generally and symmetrically depicted in FIG. 2, may be employed to interconnect this flexible wall structure of bag portion 3 with the upper edges of the wall portions 6 and 7 of bag portion 2 so as to define continuous side walls of the diver bag.
Diver controlled inflation or deflation of the buoyancy chamber 16 may be effected by an orally operable, inflation and deflation controlling check valve 17.
While the structure of check valve 17 will be hereinafter described in greater detail, it is sufficient, at the present time, to note that it is orally operable by a diver at a submerged location, or at a water body surface, to effect inflation of the buoyancy chamber 16. Additionally it is manually operable by a diver at a submerged location or at a surface location to effect the deflation, in full or in part, of the buoyancy chamber 16.
The aperture defining portion 4 of the bag may comprise a flexible wall 18 affording a loop type connection between wall means 11 and 12 above the bond zone 15b. Thus, the loop defining portion 18 of wall means 1 l and 12 constitutes the upper edge of the imperforate wall means 11 and 12, and is operable to provide or define the bag aperture 14, which aperture 14 affords access to the interior 13 of the bag 1.
Loop portion 18 houses and secures the closure control means 5.
Structural details of one embodiment of the closure control means 5 are illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4.
As shown in these figures, this embodiment of the closure control means 5 provides'a hinge-type closure which is operable to be selectively maintained in either an open or closed condition.
This embodiment of the closure control means includes a tubular member 19, made of flexible plastic or rubber.
Tubular member 19, as shown in FIG. 4, is fabricated so as to define a loop operable to encircle aperture 14.
Tubular member 19 contains within its interior a plurality of stiffener elements. Such stiffening means, in the FIGS. 1 and 4 embodiment, comprise a first pair of metallic, strip-like, stiffener members 20, 21, and a sec ond pair of such members 22 and 23 In the closed aperture condition, the stiffener members or elements through 23 are disposed in generally parallel and linear configuration, as shown in FIG. 4, with members 20 and 21 being disposed on one side of the closed aperture and members 22 and 23 being disposed on the other side of the closed aperture.
As illustrated in FIG. 4, members 21 and 22 are somewhat longer than members 20 and 23 and are located at opposite corners respectively of the bag. This arrangement causes an overlapping of the longer stiff ener elements 21 and 22.
In the element overlap zone 5a, shown in FIG. 4, the interior of the loop means 18 may be provided with a selectively releasable fastening means disposed adjacent each overlapping portion of the stiffener means 21 and 22.
This releasable means may comprise a VELCRO pad 24, disposed adjacent stiffener means 21 as shown in FIG. 1, and another VELCRO pad disposed on the interior of the loop means 18 adjacent to the overlapping portion of stiffener 22.
As will now be appreciated, the pair of longitudinally displaced stiffener elements 21 and 20 define a hingelike edge structure stiffener on one side of the bag. The pair of longitudinally displaced elements 22 and 23 define a bag aperture stiffener and hinge structure on the opposite bag side.
By flexing'these hinge structures through engagement and separation of the overlapping portions 21 and 22, the VELCRO fasteners 24 and 25, previously interconnected, may be separated so as to permit the aperture defining means 4 to produce the open aperture 14, as shown in FIG. 1.
By collapsing the hinge structures, through pressing the VELCRO pad 24 toward the VELCRO pad 25, the aperture 14 may be closed, as shown in FIG. 3, so as to entrap an article previously inserted into the bag interior 13. i
As will be appreciated, VELCRO is a trademark for fasteners now in wide use which are characterized by networks of inter-engagable resilient nylon hooks.
In lieu of the closure control structure 5 heretofore described, an alternate closure control 5' may be employed. This alternate closure control 5' is generally illustrated in FIG. 5.
Closure 5' may include a tubular member 19', corresponding in general to the previously described tubular member 19. Closure 5' additionally includes a plurality of stiffener members. However, in this instance, only two stiffener members 26 and 27 are employed.
These stiffener members may be fabricated from metallic strip, spring-like material, with these stiffener members 26 and 27 extending substantially the entire length of each side of the closed bag.
With this arrangement, and due to the confining influence of the tubular member 19, the members 26 and 27, when unstressed, are disposed in the generally lin ear and parallel configuration shown in FIG. 5, and, in essence, are interconnected by end portions 28 and 29 of tubular member 19'.
In order to gain access to the interior 13 of the bag, when this closure embodiment 5' is employed, an operator will engage midportions of the closure control means 5' and resiliently deform and thus separate midportions of the stiffener elements 26 and 27. When a diver releases the midportions of this closure control means 5', the stiffener elements 26 and 27 will snap" closed and thus automatically restore the bag aperture to the closed configuration shown in FIG. 5.
If desired, VELCRO pads may be employed on inner edges of the loop means 18 to more positively insure the maintenance of a closed aperture, when the closure means 5 is employed. Such VELCRO pads, if employed, would be located at a generally intermediate location 5b (shown in FIG. 5) along the length of the stiffener elements 26 and 27. VELCO pads on the outside of loop means 18 can be used in conjunction with an over flap (not shown) to effect positive closure of the aperture.
Regardless of which closure control embodiment is employed, it will be recognized that the closure control means 5 or 5' effects closure of the aperture 14 by moving opposing inner portions of loop defining means 18 to a generally contiguous or at least closely spaced relationship.
Carrying of the bag 1 may be facilitated by a handle arrangement. This handle arrangement, as shown in FIG. 1, and in connection with the FIG. 4 closure system, may comprise apertures 30 and 31 extending through the wall means 11 and 12 beneath the loop means 18.
Aperture means 30 and 31 may be located adjacent to VELCRO pads 24 and 25; Le, adjacent the overlap portions of stiffener elements 21 and 22. Thus when the bag is disposed in the closed condition shown in FIG. 3, the apertures 30 and 31 may be brought into generally aligned condition defining a central opening through which a divers fingers of one hand may project.
These apertures 30 and 31 thus cooperate with the loop means 18, and the portions of the closure control means extending therethrough above the apertures 30 and 31, to define hand grip means 32.
Where this handle arrangement is employed, bond zones 33 and 34 will encircle each of the apertures 30 and 31 so as to maintain the sealed integrity of the buoyancy chamber 16.
At this juncture it is appropriate to consider structural details of the diver controlled, valve means 17.
Structural details of the valve means 17 are shown in FIGS. 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Valve means 17 is fabricated as an integral unit from elastomeric or resilient material such as rubber or neoprene.
Valve means 17 comprises a generally annular and resilient web means 35. Web means 35 provides a bonding surface operable to attach the valve to an exterior portion of wall means 12, encircling an inflation inlet aperture in this wall means.
Valve means 17 additionally includes a resilient cylinder portion 36 which is connected with, and extends outwardly of, the web means 35.
A transverse resilient wall means 37 is connected with cylindrical wall 36 and extends transversely of the wall means 36. As shown in FIG. 8, wall means 37 and web means 35 are displaced centrally, longitudinally of a longitudinal center axis of cylinder 36.
A resilient check valve means 38 is supported in a cantilever manner by the wall means 37. Check valve 38 comprises a pair of separable lip members 39 and 40 disposed on opposite sides of a valve slit 41. When unstressed, lips 39 and 40 converge to a valve closure terminus 42, in a direction leading away from wall means 37.
Exterior surfaces 43 and 44 of lip means 39 and 40 provide fluid reaction surface means operable, in response to inflation pressure within the chamber 16, to maintain the check valve 38 in a closed configuration as depicted in FIG. 9.
A resilient mouthpiece 45 is carried by wall means 37 and defines a flow path leading to the interior 46 of the valve between lip means 39 and 40. This mouthpiece 45 is engagable by a divers mouth, either at a submerged location or at a surface location, so that the diver can orally effect the inflation of the buoyancy chamber 16.
Cylinder 36 carries on its exterior and, at diametrically opposite locations, a pair of mechanically engagable abutments or ridge zones 47 and 48. Ridge zones or abutment means 47 and 48 comprise thickened wall portions of cylinder 36 and are located, as shown in FIG. 8, adjacent but spaced outwardly of the slit 41.
THese abutment means 47 and 48 are thus disposed adjacent, but in disconnected cooperation with, the inflation pressure responsive surface means 43 and 44.
A diver may engage the abutment means 47 and 48 and press them toward each other. Such pressing will cause the partial collapse of the cylinder 36, with the collapsed cylinder engaging the edges of the lips 39 and 40 so as to cause distortion of these lips and opening of the check valve 38. Such a pinch method of effecting valve opening is recognized in the art and is described for example in connection with such patents as Gassaway U.S. Pat. No. 2,802,608 and Williams 744,846 albeit not in this unique context of the present invention.
With the overall structure of the game bag 1 having been described it is now appropriate to consider the manner in which the game bag may be advantageously employed to facilitate diver operations.
With the buoyancy chamber 16 non-inflated, and prior to a diving operation, or thereafter, the deflated bag 1 may be rolled into a compact unit which may be easily tucked away with other diver gear. This may be accomplished by rolling bag portion 2 and 3 around a core-like means provided by the collapsed closure control means or 5.
At a submerged location, a diver may dispose an article of the type heretofore noted within the interior 13 of the bag.
The closure control means 5 may be manipulated at the submergible location to close the aperture 14.
Even with the aperture 14 closed, the perforate or foraminous nature of the bag portion 2 will permit a circulation of water between the exterior of the closed bag and the article contained therewithin. Thus where the article within the bag is a living organism, a means is provided for maintaining the organism in continuity with its water habitat.
Without leaving his submerged location, the diver may effect the transportation of the bag 1 to a surface merely by inflating the buoyancy chamber 16 at the submerged location. This is done, of course, by orally inflating the bag via the valve mechanism 17.
The bag 1, thus inflated and buoyant, will ascent through its own buoyancy to a surface location.
Alternatively it may be desirable to effect the submergence of an inflated bag. This can be accomplished by merely engaging the abutment means 47 and 48 so as to open valve means 17 and appropriately vent and reduce the buoyancy of the chamber 16 and thus permit the bag 1 to descend to a submerged location. This technique could be employed to transport articles such as diver accessories to a diver working at a submerged location.
In order to further facilitate diver operations, it is contemplated that the bag 1 would be possessed of a highly visible color, such as bright yellow, so as to enable its position to be readily detected either at a surface or a submerged location.
As will also be appreciated, the bag 1 may be provided with auxiliary attachment means.
Such attachment means may comprise a grommet means 49, generally shown in FIG. 1. This grommet means may serve as a connection to a tie rope. Such a tie rope may be employed to secure the bag 1 at a particular location or facilitate its transportation.
It is also contemplated that the bag portion 3 may be provided with panel means 50 containing one or more fastener elements, such as conventionally rotatable or twist fasteners 51. Such twist fasteners 51 could be employed to secure articles to the exterior of the bag (i.e., articles such as a compass, depth gauge, abalone, etc.).
SUMMARY OF MAJOR ADVANTAGES AND OVERALL SCOPE OF INVENTION A principal advantage of the invention resides in the provision of a diver bag which may be readily stored and transported without encumbering diver operations.
Buoyancy and closure control aspects of the bag are provided in a reliable fashion, while insuring that the buoyancy and closure control functions are not mutually interfering in nature and that each may be independently controlled.
The unique closure control mechanism affords reliable entrapment of an article contained in the bag while facilitating simplified underwater manipulation.
The inflation valve incorporated in the bag is uniquely adapted to diver manipulations, even at a submerged location.
Significantly, the buoyancy aspect of the diver bag is such that it can be used to effect the transportation of the bag between a submerged and surface location and also employed as a floatation device at a surface, even when filled with one or more articles. This floatation feature thus provides a significant safety function which would permit one or more divers to be buoyantly supported at a water surface location.
The closure control mechanism and the buoyancy control valve mechanism can be manipulated by one hand of a diver so as to optimize control over specimen gathering operations or other diving manipulations.
It should also be noted that the collapsed closure control means, disposed as depicted in FIG. 3, defines a core facilitating controlled and smooth rolling of the collapsed bag into a roll form. This aspect of the invention tends to insure that the bag will not be improperly crumbled or subjected to rough handling which might damage the buoyancy chamber mesh walls, etc. The weight of the stiffener elements may provide sufficient ballasting to prevent the rolled bag from floating or drifting away from a diver at a submerged site.
Those familiar with the disclosure of this invention and skilled in the diver art may recognize additions, de letions, substitutions or other modifications which would fall within the purview of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An apparatus forfacilitating diver operations, said apparatus comprising:
diver bag means including between a mouth and bottom thereof: a perforate portion, a portion operable to provide buoyant chamber means, aperture means operable to afford access tothe interior of said perforate portion, collapsable closure control means adjacent said mouth of said bag means and operable to assume collapsed and expanded conditions for selectively controlling said aperture means, and inflation means operable, at a submerged location, to control the buoyancy of said chamber means; said closure control means being operable independent of the buoyant condition of said buoyancy chamber means. i 2. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein:
said portion operable to provide said buoyant chamber means comprises a sidewall portion of said bag means essentially contiguous with said perforate portion. 3. An apparatus as described in claim 1 further comprising:
control meansand operable tosupport said aperture means in at least one selected condition.
4. An apparatus as described in claim 3 further comprising a valve mechanism operable to control the buoyancy of said chamber means, said mechanism comprising:
a resilient web means operable to be connected with said diver bag means;
a resilient cylinder means connected with and extending from said web means; transverse, resilient wall means connected with and extending transversely of said cylinder means; said wall means and said web means being displaced longitudinally of a longitudinal axis of said cylinder means; resilient check valve means supported in a cantilever manner by said wall means and disposed within said cylinder means; resilient mouthpiece means supported by said wall means and operable to direct air from a divers mouth through said check valve means; and
manually engagable abutment means carried by said cylinder means;
- said abutment means being operableto be displaced by a diver toward said check valve means and effect a distortion and opening thereof. 5. An apparatus for facilitating diver operations, said apparatus comprising:
diver bag means operable to contain article means selected from a group comprising diveraccessory means, aquatic life specimens, geological specimens, or submerged means, said diver bag means including lower, generally planar and perforate means, upper, generally imperforate and planar means, aperture defining means, and closure control means; said lower means of said diver bag means including first, generally planar, flexible, and perforate wall means, and second, generally planar, flexible, and perforate wall means, and i said first and second generally planar, flexible and perforate wall means being interconnected along flexible side and bottom portions; said upper means of said diver bag means including a plurality of generally planar, flexible, and imperforate wall means operable to define inflatable, buoyancy chamber means, orally operable check valve means operable to permit a diver, while underwater, to inflate said buoyancy chamber means, fluid reaction surface means carried by said check valve means and operable, in response to inflation pressure within said buoyancy chamber means, to maintain said diver bag means buoyant, manually operable abutment means operable, in response to diver manipulation, to disable said inflation pressure responsive surface means and permit venting of said buoyancy chamber means, and means supporting said abutment means in adjacent but disconnected cooperation with said inflation pressure responsive surface means; and said aperture defining means being provided by upper edge means of said imperforate wall means and being operable to provide an aperture affording access to the interior of said lower means of said diver bag means; said closure control means comprising tubular means contiguous with said aperture defining means of said bag means, stiffening means disposed within said tubular means, said tubular means being operable to permit said stiffening means to be disposed in a generally linear and parallel configuration and produce a generally linear closure for said aperture defining means, and means operable to maintain said stiffening means in said generally linear and parallel configuration. 6. An apparatus as described in claim 5, wherein said closure control means includes:
a firstpair of longitudinally displaced, hinge-defining stiffener elements;
a second pair of longitudinally displaced, hingedefining stiffener elements; and
resiliently engagable and detachable hook means operable to releasably secure said first and second pair of hinge-defining stiffener elements in said generally parallel and linear configuration;
said first and second pair of stiffener elements providing said stiffening means.
7. An apparatus as described in claim 5, wherein said closure control means includes:
a first stiffener element disposed on one side of said aperture;
a second stiffener element disposed on another side of said aperture;
said first and second stiffener elements providing said stiffening means, being supported by said tubular means in said generally linear and parallel configuration, and being operable to be distorted outwardly of said aperture to effect the opening thereof.
8. An apparatus for facilitating diver operations said apparatus comprising:
diver bag means including between a bottom thereof and a mouth defining an aperture for affording access to the interior of said bag means:
a flexible perforate sidewall section,
a flexible imperforate sidewall section contiguous with said flexible perforate sidewall section and operable to define flexible buoyant chamber means,
collapsable closure control means adjacent said mouth of said bag means and operable to assume collapsed and expanded conditions for selectively controlling said aperture, and
inflation means operable, at a submerged location, to control the buoyancy of said chamber means;
said closure control means being operable independent of the buoyant condition of said buoyancy chamber means.
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|U.S. Classification||405/185, 383/10, 383/3, 383/95, 383/102, 383/33|