Title:
Underwater Breathing Apparatus
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An underwater breathing apparatus includes a water resistant enclosure for floating on the surface of a body of water. An air collection header and an air pump for generating a constant flow of breathable air, an air supply line for delivering a flow of the breathable air to a user and a check valve for exhausting used air are also provided. At least one mouth piece connected to one of said supply lines and to a user's mouth together with a solar powered rechargeable battery connected to the air pumps enables the air pump to supply breathable air to the user. A safety flag mounted on the water resistant enclosure and extending upward therefrom indicate the presence of an individual below the surface of the water as does a safety warning light mounted on top of the water resistant enclosure. A fresh air vent tube supplies air to the air pump and prevents water from entering the water resistant enclosure while a jet ski fixed to an underside of said water resistant enclosure and guided by the user is used for moving the water resistant enclosure to a different area. Finally, a tether line connects the user to the jet ski while a retractable hose mechanism automatically reels out air hoses when a diver descends and reels in the air hose when the diver ascends. In the preferred embodiment of the invention a micro-computer contains the data from dive tables and automatically reels in and stops at various steps the air hose.


Inventors:
Abulrassoul, Abdullah M. (Rumaithega, KW)
Qasem, Sadeg A. (Adan, KW)
Application Number:
12/706827
Publication Date:
08/18/2011
Filing Date:
02/17/2010
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
128/204.18
International Classes:
B63C11/14; B63C11/02
View Patent Images:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An underwater breathing apparatus comprising: a water resistant enclosure for floating on the surface of a body of water; an air collection header and an air pump for generating a constant flow of breathable air; an air supply line for delivering a flow of the breathable air to a user and a check valve for exhausting used air; at least one mouth piece connected to said air supply line and to a user's mouth; a solar powered rechargeable battery connected to said air pump that enables said air pump to supply breathable air to said user for an extended period of time; a safety flag mounted on said water resistant enclosure and extending upwardly therefrom to indicate the presence of an individual below the surface of the water; a safety warning light mounted on top of the water resistant enclosure that can be turned on by a user when the device is used in darkness; a fresh air vent tube that supplies air to said air pump and prevents water from entering into said water resistant enclosure; a jet ski fixed to an underside of said water resistant enclosure and guidable by said user for moving said water resistant enclosure and said user from one location to another; and a retractable hose mechanism for automatically reeling out air hose when a diver descends and reeling in an air hose when the diver ascends.

2. An underwater breathing apparatus according to claim 1 which includes a computer for reeling out and reeling in a predetermined length of air hose in response to a signal from the user or after a predetermined time at a selected depth.

3. An underwater breathing apparatus according to claim 2 in which said computer includes diving tables and programs decompression stops at various depths and periods for returning to the surface.

4. An underwater breathing apparatus according to claim 2 in which said apparatus includes more than one air collection header, air pump and air supply line for delivering a flow of breathable air to multiple users.

5. An underwater breathing apparatus according to claim 3 in which said retractable hose mechanism is programmed to automatically reel out pre-selected lengths of air hose to allow a diver to descend to a second pre-selected depth.

6. An underwater breathing apparatus for a recreational SCUBA diver, said apparatus consisting of a water resistant enclosure for floating on the surface of a body of water; an air collection header and an air pump for generating a constant flow of breathable air; an air supply line for delivering a flow of the breathable air to a user and a check valve for exhausting used air; at least one mouth piece connected to said air supply line and to a user's mouth; a solar powered rechargeable battery connected to said air pump that enables said air pump to supply breathable air to said user for an extended period of time; a safety flag mounted on said water resistant enclosure and extending upwardly therefrom to indicate the presence of an individual below the surface of the water; a safety warning light mounted on top of the water resistant enclosure that can be turned on by a user when the device is used in darkness; a fresh air vent tube that supplies air to said air pump and prevents water from entering into said water resistant enclosure; a jet ski fixed to an underside of said water resistant enclosure and guidable by said user for moving said water resistant enclosure and said user from one location to another; and a retractable hose mechanism for automatically reeling out air hose when a diver descends and reeling in an air hose when the diver ascends.

7. A method for breathing fresh air from a submerged location includes the steps of: providing a water resistant enclosure 22 with a plurality of air pumps 53 that are each connected to a flexible air supply line which in turn is connected to a quick disconnect and check valve that connects to an air collection header. This generates a constant flow of breathable air to the underwater user and an energy source comprising a solar rechargeable battery that is connected to the air pumps enables a supply of breathable air to reach the under water user for an extended period of time; connecting a plurality of air supply lines each with two ends that supply breathable air to at least one mouthpiece that is connected to the air collection header at one end and to an underwater user's mouthpiece at the other end; turning on the pump 53 prior to placing the mouthpiece in the user's mouth to ensure that air supply lines are free of water; placing a user's mouth on the mouthpiece to breath air while performing a desired underwater task.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention to an underwater breathing apparatus and more particularly to an underwater breathing apparatus that provides fresh breathable air to one or more divers.

BACKGROUND FOR THE INVENTION

Underwater breathing devices are well known and have been in use for many years. For example, breathing devices were disclosed by Jacque Cousteau in the 1950s (see Cousteau U.S. Pat. No. 2,953,988) that incorporates a pressurized tank of air worn by a diver on their back that lead to “SCUBA” gear (self contained underwater breathing apparatus). In such systems, the air pressure is regulated according to the demand and depth and is supplied to the diver through a hose or mouth piece. The diver can swim freely and breath at depths well below the surface with tank pressure significant to compensate for water pressure. However, there is extensive training required for such devices and the time underwater is limited by the capacity of the air tank.

In an effort to combine the advantages of SCUBA equipment and surface-supply systems while maintaining the ability to swim more or less freely a number of products have been developed. For example, a U.S. Pat. No. 5,327,849 of Miller discloses an underwater breathing apparatus that provides a floating apparatus for providing pressurized air to a submerged swimmer. As disclosed, the floatation device supports a combination of two containers above the surface of the water. The top container, in the form of an inverted box holds one or more electrically powered compressors. The bottom container holds a battery for powering the compressors. Water ingestion by the compressors is prevented by placing the air intake inside the upper box which forms an air trap. The air intake and compressors are isolated from any possible contamination or explosion risk from the battery out gassing which is safely vented to the outside air from the lower compartment. Battery life is extended by a pressure switch control of the air compressors running them on demand instead of continuously.

A more recent U.S. patent of Hilliker, U.S. Pat. No. 7,159,528 discloses a snorkel apparatus and methods of use. As disclosed, the apparatus and methods are applicable for a plurality of users to work and/or play underwater with a supply of breathable air. The breathable air is taken from the atmosphere above the surface of the water. The air is sent to one or two submerged users. The apparatus and its components are enclosed in a water resistant enclosure encapsulated by an inner tube which floats on the surface of the water. The apparatus provides breathable air to one or two users from a flexible air supply line which runs from the apparatus to each submerged user. The air pumps of the apparatus push a constant flow of breathable air to each user. Each user inhales air from the apparatus with a mouth piece that is connected to the air supply line which is connected to the air pumps. The equipment such as regulators, tanks or reservoirs are not needed. The apparatus is powered by a dry cell battery and does not require fuel to operate.

Notwithstanding the above it is presently that there is a need and a potential market for an improved device of the type disclosed in the aforementioned patents. It is believed that there is a potential market for the improved apparatus in accordance with the present invention because such apparatus offers means for readily relocating the platform and diver and for automatic means for reeling out an air hose when the diver descends and reeling in the air hose when the diver ascends. A preferred embodiment of the invention includes a program for automatically preparing an ascent to include stops in the ascent in accordance with recommended scheduling set forth in diving tables.

Further, the apparatus in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention are durable, easily assembled using many conventionally available components, can be assembled at a competitive cost and is easier to use than presently available apparatus.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In essence the underwater breathing apparatus in accordance with the present invention comprises and/or consists of a water resistant enclosure for floating on the surface of a body of water and an air collection header together with an air pump for generating a constant flow of breathable air through an air supply line for delivering a flow of breathable air to a user. The system also includes a check valve for exhausting air while eliminating leakage of water into the system. At least one mouth piece is connected to the air supply line and to a user's mouth while a solar powered rechargeable battery is connected to the air pump that enables the air pump to supply breathable air to the users for an extended period of time. In addition, a safety flag is mounted on the water resistant enclosure and extends upwardly therefrom to indicate the presence of an individual below the surface of the water. A safety warning light is also mounted on top of the water resistant enclosure that can be turned on by a user when the device is used in darkness. Further a fresh air tube that supplies air to the air pump and prevents water from entering into the water resistant enclosure is provided together with a jet ski fixed to an underside of the water resistant enclosure and guided by a user for moving the water resistant enclosure and user by means of a tether line connecting the user to the jet ski. In addition, the apparatus includes a retractable hose mechanism for automatically reeling out the air hose when a diver descends and reeling in the air hose when the diver ascends.

The invention will now be described in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like elements are identified by like numbers.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the container compartment of the underwater breathing apparatus in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 is a schematic illustration of an interior portion of the container compartment; and

FIG. 3 illustrates a method in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

As illustrated in FIG. 1 an underwater breathing apparatus 20 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention includes a water resistant enclosure 22 that is floated on the surface of a body of water. The water resistant enclosure 20 can be made of any suitable plastic, as for example polyethylene, polypropylene, and polyvinylchloride or other weldable thermo plastic resin. The construction and dimensions are such as to accommodate a flotation device 24 as for example a rubber inner tube to support the water resistant enclosure 22.

The flotation device 24 is inflated with air in a conventional manner and is secured to the water resistant enclosure 22 by conventional means and as illustrated surrounds the water resistant enclosure 22. An air supply line runs from the water resistant enclosure 22 to the one or more users (not shown) mouth pieces 27. An important aspect of the invention resides in a small jet ski 30 that is used by a diver in the event that the current moves the apparatus 20 away from a pre-selected area. The diver merely activates the jet ski then guides the direction of movement.

Another important feature of the present invention resides in a mechanism 32 (see FIG. 2) for reeling out and reeling in an air hose. The mechanism 32 is of a conventional design and/or a minor modification thereof. For example, in one embodiment of the invention, the mechanism 32 is regulated by a micro computer 34 for releasing or reeling out an additional length of air hose in response to a signal from the diver as for example a tug on the air hose. However, in a preferred embodiment of the invention, the computer 34 includes a timer and a set of diving tables in its data bank and is programmed to reel in the air hose with timed stops at various depths to avoid problems. Tables relating to nitrogen retention at various steps for a various time are programmed with the micro computer. For continuing the ascend the use of time steps at various steps is clearly within the skill of a person of ordinary skill in the art.

As shown in FIG. 1 there are a number of safety related features in the present invention. For example, the water resistant enclosure 22 includes a flag 42 that is placed on top of the enclosure 22 and extends upwardly therefrom as a warning signal to other watercraft that a person is submerged in the vicinity of the flag 42. An additional safety feature resides in a safety light 43. The light 43 is for night safety and for warning boats and watercraft of the water resistant enclosure 22 and underwater divers in the immediate surrounding area. The water resistant enclosure 22 also includes a fresh air vent tube 48 that is constructed and arranged to prevent water from entering the water resistant enclosure as well as a solar cell 47 for charging a battery 45 (not shown in FIG. 1). The battery 45 operates one or more air pumps, one for each diver, as well as the light 43. In addition, the water resistant enclosure 22 includes a door 41 for giving access to the interior of the enclosure 22 and an air inflation line 43 and valve for adding air to the floatable device. Finally, a tether line or hand hold 49 is provided for a diver to hold on to the flotation device.

Referring now to FIG. 2 the interior of the water resistant enclosure 22 contains a plurality of air pumps 53 that are each connected to a flexible air supply line 55 that is connected to a quick disconnect and/or check valve 54 that is connected to an air collection header 57. The air collection header 57 generates a constant flow of breathable air to at least one user through a mouth piece 27. The air pumps are preferable oil-less diaphragm pumps. The solar rechargeable battery 56 that is connected to the air pump 53 enable at least one user to have a supply of breathable air for an extended period of time.

The apparatus of the invention can be used by one or more divers to enjoy a pleasant underwater experience and provide each of the divers with breathable air. The breathable air is untreated surface air and does not require compressed storage tanks, regulators or cumbersome underwater breathing gear. This is accomplished by the following method:

    • a.) Providing a water resistant enclosure 22 with a plurality of air pumps 53 that are each connected to a flexible air supply line which in turn is connected to a quick disconnect and check valve that connects to an air collection header. This generates a constant flow of breathable air to the underwater user and an energy source comprising a solar rechargeable battery that is connected to the air pumps enables a supply of breathable air to reach the under water user for an extended period of time;
    • b.) Connecting a plurality of air supply lines each with two ends that supply breathable air to at least one mouthpiece that is connected to the air collection header at one end and to an underwater user's mouthpiece at the other end;
    • c.) Turning on the pump 53 prior to placing the mouthpiece in the user's mouth to ensure that air supply lines are free of water;
    • d.) Placing a user's mouth on the mouthpiece to breath air while performing a desired underwater task. This method of supplying breathable air to two underwater users can be for relatively long time periods. The breathable air received by the user is untreated surface air and does not require the use of accessories such as regulators, compressed air storage tanks, etc.

While the invention has been described in connection with its preferred embodiments it should be recognized that changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the scope of the appended claims.