Title:
Swimming Pool Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A swimming pool device includes a top platform and a framework extending downwardly therefrom. The framework includes a lower end for resting on a swimming pool floor and is telescopic to selectively raise and lower the top platform relative to the framework lower end. A step is coupled to the framework and is rotatable between storage and use configurations, the step being vertically adjustable along the framework. The framework may include four sides, each side having a step that is rotatable between use and storage configurations. The swimming pool device may include a bladder coupled to the top platform causing the top platform to float when the framework has a height that is less than a water depth adjacent the framework. The platform may include a storage container and a plurality of handles. Wheels may be coupled to the framework and may be locked in a non-operating configuration.



Inventors:
Lamberty, Susan L. (Grafton, WI, US)
Application Number:
11/686671
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
03/15/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63B69/14
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHIBOGU, CHIEDU A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. (OTTAWA, KS, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is as follows:

1. A swimming pool device, comprising: a top platform; a framework extending downwardly from said top platform, said framework having a lower end for resting on a swimming pool floor, said framework being telescopic to selectively raise and lower said top platform relative to said framework lower end; and a step coupled to said framework and being rotatable between a storage configuration and a use configuration, said step being vertically adjustable along said framework.

2. The swimming pool device of claim 1, wherein the framework includes first, second, and third sides; said step being at said first side; the device further comprising: a second step coupled to said framework at said second side and being rotatable between storage and use configurations, said second step being vertically adjustable along said framework; and a third step coupled to said framework at said third side and being rotatable between storage and use configurations, said third step being vertically adjustable along said framework.

3. The swimming pool device of claim 2, wherein the framework includes a fourth side, the device further comprising a fourth step coupled to said framework at said fourth side and being rotatable between storage and use configurations, said fourth step being vertically adjustable along said framework.

4. The swimming pool device of claim 3, further comprising a bladder operatively coupled to said top platform to cause said top platform to float when said framework has a height that is less than a water depth adjacent said framework.

5. The swimming pool device of claim 4, wherein: said top platform includes a storage container; said top platform includes a plurality of handles; said top platform includes a non-slip surface; and said framework lower end includes a plurality of wheels and means for selectively locking said wheels in a non-rotating configuration.

6. The swimming pool device of claim 1, wherein: said framework includes telescopic members; and said telescopic members include perforations for adjusting a height of said framework and for coupling said step to said framework.

7. The swimming pool device of claim 1, wherein said framework lower end includes: a plurality of wheels; and means for selectively locking said wheels in a non-rotating configuration.

8. The swimming pool device of claim 1, further comprising a bladder operatively coupled to said top platform to cause said top platform to float when said framework has a height that is less than a water depth adjacent said framework.

9. The swimming pool device of claim 1, wherein said top platform includes a storage container.

10. The swimming pool device of claim 1, wherein said top platform includes a plurality of handles.

11. The swimming pool device of claim 1, wherein said top platform includes a non-slip surface.

12. A swimming pool device, comprising: a top platform; a framework extending downwardly from said top platform, said framework having a lower end for resting on a swimming pool floor, said framework being telescopic to selectively raise and lower said top platform relative to said framework lower end; and a bladder operatively coupled to said top platform to cause said top platform to float when said framework has a height that is less than a water depth adjacent said framework.

13. The swimming pool device of claim 12, wherein said framework lower end includes: a plurality of wheels; and means for selectively locking said wheels in a non-rotating configuration.

14. The swimming pool device of claim 12, further comprising a step coupled to said framework.

15. The swimming pool device of claim 12, wherein the framework includes four sides; the device further comprising a step coupled to each said framework side, each said step being rotatable between storage and use configurations.

16. The swimming pool device of claim 12, wherein the framework includes four sides; the device further comprising a step coupled to each said framework side, each said step being vertically adjustable along said framework.

17. The swimming pool device of claim 12, wherein: said top platform has a top surface; and said bladder is beneath said top surface of said top platform.

18. The swimming pool device of claim 12, wherein: said top platform has a top surface; said top platform includes a storage container; and said storage container includes a lid defining a portion of said top surface.

19. The swimming pool device of claim 12, wherein said top platform includes a plurality of handles.

20. The swimming pool device of claim 12, wherein: said top platform has a top surface; and said top surface has a non-slip configuration.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to aquatic training devices and, more particularly, to a swimming pool device for providing a safety platform for young swimming students as they learn swimming techniques in deeper water.

As young swimming students progress into deeper waters, there is an increased concern for their safety. While they need to learn to swim without the immediate safety of being able to touch the bottom of the pool, it is good to have either a swimming instructor nearby or even for the student to wear a safety floatation device. It is difficult for an instructor or other helper to stay close to multiple students simultaneously and there are many stops and starts during the instruction process.

Various devices, such as floating platforms, have been proposed in the art for enabling a swimmer to maintain a position above a water surface when needed or desired. Although assumably effective for their intended purposes, the existing devices and proposals lack a framework with a telescopic platform feature for selective adjustment in various depths of water, adjustable and retractable steps for a swimmer to use when in the water, and other important safety features.

Therefore, it would be desirable to have a swimming pool device that would enable a student to maintain a position above the water surface even though the water is deeper than the height of the swimmer. Further, it would be desirable to have a swimming pool device that may be moved along the bottom of a pool, adjusted for the current depth of water, and securely maintained at a desired position. In addition, it would be desirable to have a swimming pool device having a platform that remains buoyant if the height of the platform is less than a height of the water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, a swimming pool device according to the present invention includes a top platform and a framework extending downwardly from the top platform. The framework includes a lower end for resting on a swimming pool floor, the framework being telescopic to selectively raise and lower the top platform relative to the framework lower end. Further, a step is coupled to the framework and is rotatable between a storage configuration and a use configuration, the step being vertically adjustable along the framework. The framework may include first, second, third, and even fourth sides, each side having a step that is rotatable between use and storage configurations.

The swimming pool device may also include a bladder operatively coupled to the top platform to cause the top platform to float when the framework has a height that is less than a water depth adjacent the framework. The platform may also include a storage container and a plurality of handles. A plurality of wheels may also be coupled to the framework and may include means for selectively locking the wheels in a non-operating configuration.

Therefore, a general object of this invention is to provide a swimming pool device for providing a swimming student a place of refuge while learning swimming techniques in deep water.

Another object of this invention is to provide a swimming pool device, as aforesaid, having a platform mounted atop a telescopically adjustable framework.

Still another object of this invention is to provide a swimming pool device, as aforesaid, having movable steps positioned on the framework on which a swimmer may stand.

Yet another object of this invention is to provide a swimming pool device, as aforesaid, that may be moved along the bottom of a pool, adjusted for the current depth of water, and securely maintained at a desired position.

A further object of this invention is to provide a swimming pool device, as aforesaid, in which a top platform is buoyant when the platform is at a height less than a level of water surrounding the framework.

A still further object of this invention is to provide a swimming pool device, as aforesaid, that is selectively movable in the water.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example, embodiments of this invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1a is a perspective view of a swimming pool device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1b is an exploded view of the swimming pool device as in FIG. 1a;

FIG. 2a is a fragmentary view on an enlarged scale of a portion of the swimming pool device as in FIG. 1a showing the top platform;

FIG. 2b is another fragmentary view as in FIG. 2a with a bladder in a descended configuration;

FIG. 3a is another fragmentary view on an enlarged scale of the swimming pool device as in FIG. 1 showing the wheels; and

FIG. 3b is another fragmentary view on an enlarged scale of the swimming pool device as in FIG. 1 showing a configuration of the steps.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A swimming pool device 100 according to the present invention will now be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 1a through 3b of the accompanying drawings. More particularly, a swimming pool device 100 (which may also be referred to herein as a swimming pool safety and training device) according to the current invention includes a top platform 110 and a framework 120 extending downwardly from the top platform 110.

The top platform 110 may include a top surface 112, and the top surface 112 may have a non-slip surface configuration. As shown in FIGS. 1a through 2b, the top platform may include a storage container 114. The storage container 114 may include a lid 116 that defines a portion of the top surface 112 when closed. The top platform 110 may include a plurality of handles 118, as also shown in FIGS. 1a through 2b.

The framework 120 includes a lower end 120a for resting on a swimming pool floor (not shown). As shown in FIG. 3b, the lower end 120a may include a plurality of wheels 122. Means for selectively locking the wheels 122 in a non-rotating configuration, such as the wheel locks 123 shown in FIGS. 1a and 1b, for example, may also be included. The framework 120 is telescopic to selectively raise and lower the top platform 110 relative to the framework lower end 120a. For example, the framework 120 may include telescopic members 124a, 124b, and one (or both) of the telescopic members 124a, 124b may include perforations 125 (e.g., a series of holes) for adjusting a height of the framework 120. A pin or other coupling device may utilize the perforations 125 to maintain the framework 120 at a desired height. The framework 120 may be constructed of a strong, rigid, non-corrosive material having the mechanical properties to withstand the stresses of the loads placed upon it and having the chemical properties to be stable in water and standard pool chemicals.

One or more step 130 may be coupled to the framework 120. The steps 130 may be coupled to the framework 120 using the perforations 125, for example, though other coupling methods may also or alternately be used. Each step 130 may include a detent ball 132 or another mechanical device that allows the respective step 130 to be rotated between a storage configuration 130a (FIG. 1a) and a use configuration 130b and selectively locked at those positions. Each step 130 may be vertically adjustable along the framework 120, such as by coupling the steps 130 to various perforations 125, for example.

The framework 120 may have various configurations, such as triangular or rectangular (as shown throughout the drawings), for example. A rectangular framework 120 includes four sides 128. One or more step 130 may be coupled to the framework 120 at each side 128 of the framework 120. In another embodiment, it may alternately be preferred to couple one or more step 130 to less than every side 128 of the framework 120, especially if there are many sides 128.

A bladder 140 (FIG. 2b) may be operatively coupled to the top platform 110. In one embodiment, the bladder 140 is beneath the top surface 112 of the top platform 110. The bladder 140 may include a buoyant material (solid, liquid, or gas) to cause the top platform 110 to float when the device 100 is in water that is deeper than the framework 120 is tall (in other words, when the framework 120 has a height that is less than a water depth adjacent the framework 120).

In use, the height of the framework 120 may be adjusted (as discussed above) to equal a water depth of a respective swimming pool. The swimming pool device 100 may be placed in the swimming pool (either before or after the height of the framework 120 is adjusted) so that it rests on the lower end 120a. If the lower end 120a includes wheels 122, the device 100 may be rolled to a desired location in the swimming pool, and the wheels 122 may be locked in the non-rotating configuration (e.g., by using the wheel locks 123). The step(s) 130 may be adjusted to a desired height and rotated to the use configuration 130b as discussed above. The swimming pool device 100 may then serve as an “island”, allowing users to stand on the step(s) 130, hold onto the handles 118, and sit/stand on the top surface 112. Various items (e.g., sunscreen, goggles, etc.) may be housed in the storage container 114. The bladder 140 may allow the top surface 112 to remain above water level, even if the swimming pool device 100 were to be moved into deeper water or if the water level of the swimming pool were to rise.

It is understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable functional equivalents thereof.