Title:
Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist for retrieving a person from the water and bringing them safely back aboard the boat. The method of retrieving the person from the water follows:

The boat is maneuvered alongside the Crew Overboard (COB)

The Rescue Hoist is attached to the side of the boat near the center of the vessels side hanging from the gunwale on the outside facing the COB

A heaving line is used to bring the COB alongside the boat

The Webbing loop of the Rescue Hoist is placed around the COB's upper body

The hand crank is utilized to raise the COB from the water and cranking is continued until:

  • 1) The COB steps aboard if conscious and able, or
  • 2) Once the COB' center of gravity is raised above the Gunwale, the Rescue Hoist will tip into the boat depositing the COB on the cockpit floor.




Inventors:
Quackenbush, Captain Donald (Pulaski, NY, US)
Blunt, Robert Lee (Mexico, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/023115
Publication Date:
08/06/2009
Filing Date:
01/31/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B63C9/00
View Patent Images:
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20030176123Method and device for saving people in distressin the seaSeptember, 2003Schwindt
20070218787Surfboard having a skin of reinforced fabricSeptember, 2007Carter et al.
20070264890Underwater lifting deviceNovember, 2007Brown
20080287018Stealth tail quad surfboardNovember, 2008Johnson
20030232550Universal swim fin replacement heel strapDecember, 2003Wagner
20080057805Devices and Methods for Carrying and Storing a SurfboardMarch, 2008Alexander
20080280516Marine survival systemNovember, 2008Rayles et al.
20080227345Partially flooding spar buoySeptember, 2008Gilman
20040121670Flotation collar for water park craftJune, 2004Millhollin



Primary Examiner:
VENNE, DANIEL V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert Lee Blunt (Mexico, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist for retrieving a person from the water, comprising: a webbing loop; a line connected to a hand cranked winch; and a platform for sliding the COB vertically up out of the water and into the vessel, wherein said Rescue Hoist includes an upper extent, a middle extent, and a lower extent attached to each other with a locking hinge system and being capable of being folded approximately into thirds for storage in a bag aboard the vessel; said Rescue Hoist includes a Hand Cranked Winch attached to the top section along with pulleys and fairleads for a line which is connected to the upper extent through a top pulley, a webbing loop 6″ wide by approximately 55″ long attached to the hoisting line which, when placed around the upper torso of the COB, is used to raise them up out of the water and bring them aboard the vessel. The Hand Crank is utilized to raise the victim through the mechanical advantage of the winch and when they reach the top of the hoist platform they are deposited into the vessel.

2. The Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist system of claim 1, wherein said connected folding sections, said top section, said middle section, and said bottom section are connected by hinges.

3. A Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist for retrieving a person from the water, comprising: a webbing loop; a line connected to a hand cranked winch; and a platform for sliding the COB vertically up out of the water and into the vessel, wherein said Rescue Hoist includes an upper extent, a middle extent, and a lower extent attached to each other with a locking hinge system and being capable of being folded approximately into thirds for storage in a bag aboard the vessel; said Rescue Hoist includes a Hand Cranked Winch attached to the top section along with pulleys and fairleads for a line which is connected to the upper extent through a top pulley, a webbing loop 6″ wide by approximately 55″ long is attached to the line which, when placed around the upper torso of the COB, is used to raise them out of the water and bring them aboard the vessel; at least one hand crank connected to said upper extent; at least one pulley system connected to said upper extent; and at least one line with webbing loop connected to said upper extent, at least one said middle section with webbing and keyhole attachment method for attaching the Rescue Hoist to the vessel; and at least one said lower extent comprising at least one foot step and hand hold for egress from the water.

4. A Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist for retrieving a person from the water, comprising: a webbing loop; a line connected to a hand cranked winch; and a platform for sliding the COB vertically up out of the water and into the vessel, wherein said Rescue Hoist includes an upper extent, a middle extent, and a lower extent attached to each other with a locking hinge system and being capable of being folded approximately into thirds for storage in a bag aboard the vessel; said Rescue Hoist includes a Hand Crank attached to the top section along with pulleys and fairleads for a line which is connected to the upper extent through a top pulley, a webbing loop 6″ wide by approximately 55″ long is attached to the line which, when placed around the upper torso of the COB, is used to raise them out of the water and bring them aboard the vessel. All extents having hand and foot holds manufactured into them for use by the COB.

5. The Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist of claim 4, wherein said three device sections, said top section said middle section and said second bottom section are connected by included hinge assemblies.

6. A method of retrieving an object from the water, comprising the steps of: providing a Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist including a platform for Retrieval, a line connected to said slide device through the means of a hand cranked winch and connected to said webbing loop; entire structure connected to the vessel; deploying said crew overboard retrieval system over the side by hanging said Rescue Hoists over the side of the vessel on the outside along with the webbing loop; then maneuvering said webbing loop to encircle the object in the water with said webbing loop; turning the hand crank and wrapping the hoisting line onto the winch drum; and retrieving the object from the water with said Rescue Hoist.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the object is a person or any other object which the rescue hoist could lift.

8. The method of claim 6, wherein said vessel is a boat, dock, pier, or any other structure capable of having the Rescue Hoist attached to it for the purpose of lifting objects.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

N/A

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

N/A

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

N/A

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to marine safety aquatic devices, and, more particularly, to Water Rescue or Life Protecting Apparatus (US Class #441/80).

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Description of the Related Art

Marine Crew Overboard situations have repeatedly proven themselves to be a matter of life or death. Many boats built today have no proper form of safe egress from the water, especially when the sea is rough. Even a healthy, active person is usually incapable of getting back into the boat over the high freeboard of today's craft. Water temperature, even relatively warm water, will render the COB unable to even perform the most rudimentary actions to help themselves in a very short time. In the case when the larger of the crew falls overboard and their children, wife, or husband is in the water, no help from the crew in the boat is enough to get the COB back in the boat. COB's have literally drowned during the efforts of the crew to get them back aboard. Many times the COB is injured when falling overboard or is incapable of helping in their own rescue. For a person in the boat to lift a 200 lb+ COB over the freeboard and back into the boat is beyond the possibility of almost any boater. Many COB victims die, even after the boat is successfully brought alongside, as there is no way to get them back aboard.

It is quite common for recreational boaters to not wear a flotation device, regardless of whether flotation devices are available on the boat. Additionally, many boaters have limited or no swimming skills and if such a person goes overboard, even in the calmest of conditions, the threat of drowning is immediate.

Very few boaters practice COB recovery techniques, and as a result, have no clear idea of what to do when this situation occurs. The wind and sea state that often help create the COB situation will further complicate the situation. Very few boaters practice handling their craft in heavy weather conditions and high wind and waves can make the crews movement or actions aboard the boat very difficult. Even a Licensed Captain and well seasoned crew will find difficulty handling the vessel and maneuvering aboard the boat during this time. Current training methods of Crew Overboard Rescue techniques do not cover a technique for a small untrained person is to bring a large injured person back aboard. Currently there are no approved or even effective equipment or methods for doing this. The training is inadequate, because the equipment has not yet been invented for the final critical step of getting the COB out of the water and back aboard.

In a typical COB rescue attempt a lot of confusion and poor boat handling by a panicked crew trying to perform a poorly practiced maneuver will ensue. However, the boat is usually brought alongside the COB close enough for a line to be thrown to them and they are hauled alongside. Getting the COB back into the boat is where the system breaks down. With high wind and waves, there is very little time before the boat begins to drift and the waves make movement aboard very difficult.

While the Skipper of a boat may have adequate training, he/she are most likely to become the COB. If the Skipper falls overboard during routine boating tasks, the most he can be hope for is that his poorly trained crew bring the boat alongside him. The situation is further exacerbated when there is only one poorly untrained crew left aboard. Once alongside, they still have to get the skipper back aboard. A few simple directions from the skipper in the water to explain the mounting system for the Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist will easily allow a small untrained person to quickly bring him back aboard. This can be done by a small crew member through the mechanical advantage of the Winch.

A sling or flotation collar attached to a line are commonly used for COB rescue. The sling is thrown in the vicinity of the COB1, or thrown in the water and then maneuvered toward the COB. When the COB is attached to this sling there is still the question of how to lift a heavy waterlogged COB from the water over the vessels freeboard to get them back into the boat. In the current State of The Art there is no viable system for the majority of boats on the water.

Calling for help from one of the Government or private agencies which perform these rescue attempts, means a long delay before they arrive. In most cases, waiting for this rescue agency is not an option. The person in the water may not survive this wait. Especially in a rough or cold water situation.

The current state of the Crew Overboard rescue art does not have a system which can be used on any small vessel, by a single, small, poorly trained, crew member, in difficult conditions. They should be able to use this system to lift a much larger, heavier, COB from the water and deposit them into the boat. This system needs to be light, small, portable, affordable, have adequate mechanical lifting advantage, and be easily and quickly deployed. The COBRH meets all of these needs.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist which can be used to safely and quickly retrieve an overboard crew member in difficult conditions, even when done by a small crew member with a minimum of training and expertise, which is affordable, lightweight, small, portable, and easily stored.

The invention comprises, in one form thereof, a Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist for retrieving an object in the water including a hoist and platform to slide the COB vertically up out of the water and deposit them into the boat. A line connected to the platform winch and a webbing loop connected to the line used to encircle the COB, keep them attached to the line and raise them into the boat.

The invention comprises, in another form thereof, a method of retrieving an object in the water, including the steps of: providing a crew overboard rescue system including a platform, a line connected to the winch mounted on that platform at one end and a webbing loop connected to the other end; connecting the line to the slide is a hand crank used to raise the object; deploying the crew overboard rescue system on the side of the boat; encircling the object in the water with the webbing loop; and lifting the object from the water utilizing the hand crank; and depositing them/it into the boat.

An advantage of the present invention is that a COB rescue can be performed by a small untrained person lifting a large injured person up out of the water and depositing them into the boat.

Another advantage of the present invention is that a COB can be rescued safely in difficult conditions including high seas and/or strong winds.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that a COB can be rescued safely when the COB is unconscious and/or injured.

A further advantage of the present invention is that a COB can be rescued safely by a small untrained person alone.

A further advantage of the present invention is that an COB can be rescued safely without the need for precise positioning of the boat relative to the COB.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it is relatively easy to deploy and use.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it is relatively inexpensive.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it will be easy and inexpensive to maintain, repair and keep ready for deployment.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it can be quickly deployed.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it can quickly and efficiently lift a COB from the water and deposit them into a vessel with no other lifting apparatus necessary.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it can rescue a COB without the need to put a rescue swimmer in the water.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it can retrieve other heavy floating objects from the water.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that it can be attached to other structures (Docks, Piers, Wharves, etc.) and be used to lift people or objects from the water and back onto the structure to which it is attached.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention will be better understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a Back View Drawing of the Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist in its Open Unfolded Configuration Showing Construction Detail according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a Front View Drawing of the Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist in its Open, Unfolded Configuration Showing Construction Detail according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a Side View Drawing of the Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist in its Open Unfolded Configuration Showing Construction Detail according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a Side View Drawing Showing the Rescue Hoist in its Folded Configuration ready to be placed in its storage bag according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a Top View Drawing Showing the Rescue Hoist n its Folded Configuration ready to be placed in its storage bag according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a drawing of the Hand Winch Showing its Location relative to the rest of the Rescue Hoist when folded.

FIG. 7 is a drawing of Rescue Hoist is in its Folded Configuration showing the Hand and Footholds used by a COB to climb the Rescue Hoist while being rescued.

FIG. 8 Is a drawing showing the Rescue Hoist attached to side of a vessel deployed and ready for use.

FIG. 9 Is a part of the drawing showing the COB Rescue Hoist Webbing Sling, which is used to raise the COB from the water and bring them into the boat.

FIG. 10 Is a part of the drawing showing the Hoisting Line used to lift the COB into the vessel.

FIG. 11 Is a part of the drawing showing the attachment point and webbing that attaches to the gunwale using the keyhole attachment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Rescue Hoist Parts and Assembly and Manufacture

1) The entire COBRH will be painted in accordance with the international “O” or “Oscar” flag (Red on top and Yellow on bottom painted on a diagonal where the two colors meet (this also facilitates a low friction lifting surface)

2) The bottom section of the COBRH is 17″×18″×¾″ and must be built of very stiff material

  • The bottom section has two footholds cut out of it to allow a healthy COB to climb
  • The bottom section is attached to the middle section using very strong hinge(s) attached to the front of the COBRH
  • The top of the bottom section is cut at a 15 degree angle so that it rests against bottom of the middle section at a 15 degree angle from the horizontal

3) The middle section of the COBRH is 17″×36″×¾″ and must be built of very stiff material

  • It is attached to the top section with very strong hinge(s) attached to the front of the COBRH
  • There are two footholds cut from this section to facilitate the COB to climb while being lifted
  • There is a strong bar of steel (Keyhole Bar) attached (thru-bolted) to the back at the top of this section. It is rotated and attached to the top section using the keyhole attachment
  • There are two 2″ webbing straps attached near the top back side of the middle section.
  • These are for attaching to the keyholes on the inside of the gunwale

4) The top section of the COBRH is 17″×30″×¾″ and must be made of a very strong material

  • A winch for hoisting the COB back aboard is mounted on the back of the right hand side of this top section near the shoulder level of the rescuer
  • There are two pulleys mounted on the back of this section that directs the hoisting line from the winch on the side of the COBRH to the top center of the COBRH
  • The top section has a cutout for the operator to place his/her hand while cranking the winch and raising the COB aboard.
  • The bottom back of this section has a bolt head sticking out to attach the Swiveling Keyhole Bar. This locks the upper section of the COBRH in an open position

The top center of the top section has a pulley recessed into the unit with a line fairlead that keeps the Hoisting Line inside the pulley and centered on the front of the unit.

  • One end of the hoisting line is attached to the drum of the winch. It then runs through the two fairlead pulleys thence to the top center pulley of the Rescue Hoist. This causes the hoisting line to run from the back to the front of the COBRH.

Attached to the end of the Hoisting Line is a sling which is used to encircle and raise the COB. It is 6″ wide and 55″ long and made of stiffened Polypropylene so that it has some buoyant force when deployed.

  • The line will also be made of polypropylene so it will float when deployed

The length of each section of the COBRH can be changed to accommodate a specific vessels freeboard height

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the drawings. The exemplifications set out therein illustrate one preferred embodiment of the invention, in one form, and such exemplifications are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

While this invention has been described as having a preferred design, the present invention can be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains and which fall within the limits of the appended claims.

Steps for Deployment of the Crew Overboard Rescue Hoist

First maneuver boat to stop upwind and beside the COB

  • 1) Take the COBRH out of its bag.
  • 2) Unfold the Rescue Hoist and secure the top and middle section by rotating and clipping the keyhole bar (see FIG. 1).
  • 3) Place unit on the outside of the boat near its attachment point. Use one hand to hold it temporarily in place.
  • 4) Hook both webbing straps into their key hole attachments on the inside of the gunwale.
  • 5) Allow the Rescue Hoist to settle down against the exterior of the vessel. It will stay in position by itself.
  • 6) Lower the lifting sling into the water.
  • 7) Maneuver the lifting sling over the COB and under their arms (use boathook if COB is injured).
  • 8) Using the winch, raise COB vertically to the top of the Rescue hoist
  • 9) Gently tip COB into the boat. COBRH will easily tip into the boat as the COB's center of gravity is above the gunwale.
  • 9) Unhook sling from COB, they are now aboard.
  • 10) Unhook hoist from interior of gunwale, remove from exterior of boat, and place in bag.