Title:
Identification device for scuba divers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An elastic band for identification of scuba divers comprising a layer of neoprene, a layer of brightly colored material affixed to one or both sides of the neoprene, a piece of elastic trim affixed to the top and bottom of the material covered neoprene, the two sides of the material coated neoprene affixed together to form the elastic band.



Inventors:
Morgan, Jeannette (Burbank, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/641640
Publication Date:
06/19/2008
Filing Date:
12/18/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D13/01
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOEY, ALISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LEWIS, BRISBOIS, BISGAARD & SMITH LLP (221 NORTH FIGUEROA STREET, SUITE 1200, LOS ANGELES, CA, 90012, US)
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, I claim:

1. An elastic band for use by scuba divers comprising a layer of neoprene, a layer: of brightly colored material affixed to one or both surfaces of the neoprene, a piece of elastic trim affixed to the top and bottom of the material covered neoprene, the two sides of the material coated neoprene affixed together to form the elastic band.

2. The elastic band of claim 1 in which the brightly colored material is nylon, polyester or spandex.

3. The elastic band of claim 1 in which the color of the material is fluorescent yellow, orange, green or pink.

4. The elastic band of claim 1 in which the color of the material is non-flourescent, white, yellow or orange.

5. The elastic band of claim 1 in which the colored material is affixed to the neoprene by an adhesive.

6. The elastic band of claim 1 in which the colored material is affixed to both sides of the neoprene by an adhesive.

7. The elastic band of claim 6 in which the color of the material is the same on both sides of the neoprene.

8. The elastic band of claim 6 in which the color of the material is different on each side of the neoprene.

9. The elastic band of claim 6 in which the trim is attached to the material covered neoprene by use of an adhesive.

10. The elastic band of claim 6 in which the trim is attached to the material covered neoprene by use of an adhesive and also by stitching.

11. A pair of elastic bands for use by a pair of scuba divers comprising a layer of neoprene, a layer of brightly colored material visible under water affixed to both sides of the neoprene, a piece of elastic trim affixed to the top and bottom of the material covered neoprene, the two sides of the material coated neoprene affixed together to form the elastic band.

12. The elastic band of claim 11 in which the brightly colored material is nylon, polyester or spandex.

13. The elastic band of claim 11 in which the color of the material is fluorescent yellow, orange, green or pink.

14. The elastic band of claim 11 in which the color of the material is non-flourescent, white, yellow or orange.

15. An elastic band for use by scuba divers comprising a layer of brightly colored material, a piece of elastic trim affixed to the top and bottom of the material, the two sides of the material affixed together to form the elastic band.

16. The elastic band of claim 11 in which the brightly colored material is nylon, polyester or spandex.

17. The elastic band of claim 11 in which the color of the material is fluorescent yellow, orange, green or pink.

18. The elastic band of claim 11 in which the color of the material is non-flourescent, white, yellow or orange.

19. The elastic band of claim 1 further comprising a strip of tape of the same color or another color wrapped around the elastic band.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to scuba diving and comprises an identification device for divers using a buddy system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is highly recommended by scuba diving experts that divers use the buddy system and always be prepared to help their buddy, and others if needed. However, most all wet suits used for diving are black in color and, once under water, it is very difficult to recognize your buddy from all of the other divers who are wearing black and have masks and scuba gear which all look very much the same.

It is easier to keep track of your buddy in controlled conditions where visibility is good and if you stay in a limited area. Maintaining contact in open water is much more difficult. The scuba diving experience is not as much fun if you spend most of your time looking for your buddy, but staying together is necessary for safety reasons.

A major factor affecting all dives is underwater visibility, which can range from near zero to over one hundred feet. Diving in water which has restricted visibility can be hazardous. In these conditions divers often hold hands or use a buddy line attached to each diver. This, however, is restrictive and impractical in some cases.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

This invention comprises wide elastic bands, which are manufactured in bright colors, easily visible under water. The bands may be worn over arms or legs and each pair of diving buddies will wear the same color. The bands stretch so that they can be slipped over a diver's wet suit but fit tightly enough that they do not slip or move during the dive.

To manufacture the bands, a piece of nylon, polyester or spandex is glued to one or both side of a piece of neoprene. The nylon material is made in one of the bright colors easily visible under water. The neoprene is black in color. The nylon may have a different color on each side of the neoprene, the band being reversible. The nylon layered neoprene is cut in a pattern which is contoured to fit an arm or a leg.

A piece of trim is then attached to the top and the bottom edge of the nylon layered neoprene. The trim is an elongated piece of neoprene, having nylon on one side and rubber on the other. The rubber side is coated with glue, and then the strip is folded in half width-wise, leaving nylon on the outside. Then the strip is cut down to about ½ inch wide, and cut to size lengthwise. The piece of trim is cut 1 inch shorter than the length of the pattern, then pulled to create elasticity. One piece of trim is glued to the top and one piece to the bottom of the pattern described above. Then the trim is also stitched, such as by zig-zag stitching, to the pattern. The glue helps to provide a water-tight seal. Then, the two sides of the pattern are abutted, end to end, glued together and then sewn together, to create an anatomically contoured elastic sleeve.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the invention to provide a method for easily recognizing a diver under water during a scuba dive.

Another object of the invention is to provide an identification device for pairs of divers to recognize each other and distinguish each other from other divers in the same area.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the components of the elastic band of this invention, prior to assembly;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the completed elastic band;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a scuba diver wearing the elastic band; and,

FIG. 4 is a cross-section view taken on lines 4-4 of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIGS. 1-4, there is shown an elastic band 10 made of an elastic, nylon material, commonly available. Other elastic materials, such as, polyester, or spandex may be used instead. FIG. 1 shows the body 12 of band 10 and trim 14 and 16, prior to assembly. Trim 14 and 16 will be attached to body 12, as explained below.

Elastic band 10, optionally and preferably, comprises a layer of neoprene 18, whose surface has an attached outer layer 12 of nylon. The neoprene is about 2 mm thick, the nylon is thin, less than about 1 mm. The nylon is glued to the neoprene by any appropriate adhesive, such as neoprene cement, commonly available. Alternatively, there may be a layer of neoprene sandwiched between two layers of nylon, polyester, or spandex material. Both the inside and outside layer are glued to the neoprene. The neoprene may be any type of neoprene commonly available, such as regular grade neoprene, super-stretch neoprene, skin neoprene or rubber neoprene. Spandex is sold under various trademarks, such as Lycra®, Elaspon® and others.

Trim 14 and 16 has two layers, about one to two inches wide, a layer of nylon 26 glued to a layer of rubber neoprene 28. The rubber neoprene layer 28 is coated with glue and then is folded in half, width-wise, leaving the nylon layer 26 outside. Then the strip of trim is cut down to about one-half inch wide and cut lengthwise, to the size needed for attachment to edges 22 and 24. Trim 14 and 16 is cut about one inch short of the length needed and stretched to size to create elasticity, which prevents slippage, and then the trim is glued to edges 22 and 24 of body 12. After gluing, the trim is stitched 30 and 32.

After the trim has been attached, side edges 34 and 36 of body 12 are glued together and then stitched 38 to create an anatomically contoured band or sleeve.

The band is worn on an arm or leg. The outer layers of nylon, polyester, or spandex are made of a bright color, which is visible under water. The color may be white or various fluorescent colors including yellow, orange, green and pink. The inner layer of material could have a universal fluorescent orange color. The bands are reversible and can be worn showing the color that is on the outer layer or a different color that is on the inner layer, which may be universal orange, or any other color desired.

The Journal of the Optical Society of America in Volume 57, Number 6, 1967, reported on a study of the “Visibility of Colors Underwater”. The article states that fourteen paints were tested for underwater visibility in both fluorescent and nonfluorescent varieties, plus white, gray and black. The colors of highest visibility were the fluorescent oranges (yellow-orange, orange, and red-orange). In the non-fluorescent colors, white was by far the best, with yellow and orange next. These are the colors most desirable for the elastic bands of this invention.

Optionally, an extra piece of narrow tape of the same color or another color may be wrapped around the elastic band. The tape is about two inches wide and would give additional differentiation with other elastic bands.

As scuba divers pair up as buddies for safety's sake in a dive, two buddy divers will wear bands of the same color, so that they can recognize each other easily under water. Each buddy pair will wear a color different from each other pair. The divers can wear one or more bands, for instance, one on each arm and one on each leg, if desired. They will then be able to easily keep in visual contact with their buddy and avoid confusion in large dive groups or classes.

The bands are about 4 to 7 inches long, normally shorter for women and longer for men. They come in various sizes, such as small to extra-large.