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Title:
LIFE JACKET
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/203660
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
It is described a life jacket comprising a first elongated element (1) of buoyant material designed to cover a first side of a user's abdominal and thorax area up to and including a first side of the user's head, a second elongated element (2) of buoyant material designed to cover a second side of the user's abdominal and thorax area up to and including a second side of the user's head, and a third element (3) of buoyant material bridging said first (1) and second (2) elements behind the user's head.

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Inventors:
VALLESVERD DANNEVIG, Anders (Sinsenveien 5a, 0572 OSLO, 0572, NO)
VEDVIK, Øyvind (Askveien 10, 1446 Drøbak, 1446, NO)
ANDERSEN, Kari Johanne (Mølleberget 7, 3531 Krokkleiva, 3531, NO)
Application Number:
NO2019/050085
Publication Date:
October 24, 2019
Filing Date:
April 12, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
HELLY HANSEN AS (Munkedamsveien 35, 0250 Oslo, 0250, NO)
International Classes:
B63C9/115
Foreign References:
US5249999A1993-10-05
JP2013184616A2013-09-19
KR20100006114A2010-01-18
CA2200517C2006-09-12
GB1514889A1978-06-21
NO320144B12005-10-31
GB1122997A1968-08-07
US20020002020A12002-01-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OSLO PATENTKONTOR AS (Hoffsveien 1A, 0275 Oslo, N-0259, NO)
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Claims:
Claims

1. A life jacket comprising: a first elongated element (1) of buoyant material designed to cover a first side of a user’s abdominal and thorax area up to and including a first side of the user’s head, a second elongated element (2) of buoyant material designed to cover a second side of the user’s abdominal and thorax area up to and including a second side of the user’s head, and a third element (3) of buoyant material bridging said first (1) and second (2) elements behind the user’s head.

2. A life jacket according to claim 1 , wherein the third element (3), together with said first (1) and second (2) elements, is adapted to fold around and support the user’s head when in water.

3. A life jacket according to claim 1 , wherein the first (1 ) element includes a first protrusion (1a) of buoyant material on the front at the user’s abdominal area, the second (2) element includes a first protrusion (2a) of buoyant material on the front at the user’s abdominal area.

4. A life jacket according to claim 3, wherein the first protrusion (1a) of the first element (1) is larger than the first protrusion (2a) of the second element (2).

5. A life jacket according to claim 1 , wherein the first (1 ) element includes a second protrusion (1b) of buoyant material on the back at the first side of the user’s head, and the second (2) element includes a second protrusion (2b) of buoyant material on the back at the second side of the user’s head.

6. A life jacket according to claim 1 , further including a harness (6) bridging said first (1) and second (2) elements behind the user’s body and means (7) for connecting and locking the first (1) and second (2) elements together. 7. A life jacket according to any of the previous claims, wherein said means (7) for connecting and locking the first (1) and second (2) elements together is a zipper.

8. A life jacket according to any of the previous claims, wherein there are more buoyant material in the lower half of the life jacket than in the upper half.

9. A life jacket according to any of the previous claims, wherein a textile fabric covers said buoyant elements (1 , 1a, 1b, 2, 2a, 2b, 3) , the textile fabric including perforated patches (4a, 4b) for releasing trapped air.

Description:
Life jacket

Technical Field

The present invention regards life jackets.

Background Life-saving equipment shall meet the requirements specified in national and/or international standards and regulations in order to achieve the necessary

certification(s) for life-saving equipment accessible to the general public, for instance life jackets.

Although there are many commercial lifejackets in the market that have the necessary certifications, it can be argued that not all certified lifejackets are equally efficient to properly self-adjust and stabilize a lifejacket user in the water, keep the user's head stable and provide sufficient freeboard, having the user's mouth high enough above the waterline to provide clear airways for the user as specified in ISO 12402 (international standard for personal flotation device). A lifejacket's ability to properly self-adjust, stabilize in water and provide sufficient freeboard is arguably an essential and critical property, especially if a user is unconscious before and after landing in water.

Previous attempts have been made to create a life jacket with good self-adjustment and stabilizing properties, such as a lifejacket described in a Norwegian patent, no. 320144, that mentions its lifejacket's ability to turn an unconscious user, who is floating face-down in water, to a floating position face-up facilitating sufficient freeboard.

Most lifejackets comprising solid buoyant foam have an even foam distribution and take into consideration the fact that most users, having a symmetrical body mass distribution, could find it strenuous to generate enough torque on their own in order to turn themselves face-up, should they not be in a face up floating position, whether being conscious or unconscious. This may be even more serious for children who have a higher center-of-gravity due to their heads being larger in proportion to their bodies compared to adults. However, there exist lifejacket designs in the commercial market which include designs comprising both inflatable and solid buoyant foam that have an uneven distribution of buoyancy sections in the lifejacket front-side relative to the user's vertical centerline, facilitating the lifejacket's self-torqueing ability due to its asymmetric design in order to properly self-adjust and stabilize a user in water.

A lifejacket collar also plays a key role in lifejacket designs, being an essential part in keeping a user's head stable and high enough above the water to provide clear airways. However, it can be argued that most solid buoyancy foam lifejacket designs comprise of rudimentary and somewhat flimsy collars, some comprising a single piece of solid buoyant foam and other collars are purely for esthetic purposes. Collars consisting of large buoyant foam pieces are suitable for stability when the user is in the correct floating position. However, if the user is floating face-down, such large collars will give a counter-force which impedes the user from turning over into the correct floating position. There exist prior art lifejacket collar designs disclosed in the patent documents GB 1122997 A and US 2002/0002020 A1 with the intention to provide sufficient head support for the lifejacket user, however, such lifejacket collars, when in water, will bend in a manner that turns the user's head forward relative to the user's frontal axis, increasing the risk of submerging the user's mouth and nose. Summary of the Invention

It is an object of the present invention to provide a lifejacket that is comfortable to wear and has the properties to self-adjust and stabilize an unconscious lifejacket user in the water, from a position face-down in the water or a sideways position, where the user's mouth is completely or partially obstructed in the water, to a position face-up, where the user's head is stable and high above the water with sufficient freeboard, facilitating clear airways.

The object of the present invention is achieved as described in the following independent claim 1 and its dependent claims. Brief Description of the Drawings

Certain features and functions of the present invention will be described with reference to the following attached figures in which not every component may be labeled for the sake of clarity, in which : Figure 1 illustrates a life jacket at an isometric view,

Figure 2 illustrates a rear view of the life jacket,

Figure 3 illustrates a side view of the life jacket's right side,

Figure 4A illustrates a standing user wearing the life jacket out-of-water at an isometric view, Figure 4B illustrates a cross section of a user wearing the life jacket and the life jacket's collar out-of-water at a top or bottom view,

Figure 5A illustrates a user wearing the life jacket in water in a final floating position in calm ocean conditions,

Figure 5B illustrates a user wearing the life jacket in-water in a final floating position in calm ocean conditions,

Figure 5C illustrates a cross section of a user wearing the life jacket and the life jacket's folded collar around the user's head in-water in a final floating position in calm ocean conditions at a top or bottom view,

Figure 6 illustrates a user wearing the life jacket positioned face-down in-water in calm ocean conditions,

Figure 7 illustrates a user wearing the life jacket positioned sideways in-water in calm ocean conditions, or in motion turning to a final floating position in calm ocean conditions. Detailed Description

Figures 1-3 illustrate the present invention, a life jacket, at different views comprising of buoyant elements enclosed by a fabric. Figures 4-7 illustrate a user wearing the present invention. Figures 4A-4B further illustrate a standing user wearing the present invention out-of-water. Figures 5A-5C further illustrate a user wearing the present invention in water in a stable floating position face-up, which further illustrates the third buoyant bridging element (3) folding around the user's head in water. Figure 6 further illustrates a user wearing the present invention either landing in the water face-down, or a user who is momentarily in a position face-down in water. Figure 7 further illustrates a user wearing the present invention either landing in the water in a sideways position or momentarily in motion turning face-up from a sideways position.

The buoyant elements are sectioned into three main elements comprising a left main buoyant element (1), a right main buoyant element (2), where both elements (1, 2) are organized on the life jacket user's abdominal and thorax area and up to the right and left side of the user's head, and a third main buoyant element (3) located behind the user's head. The left and right main buoyant elements (1, 2) are bridged together by the third main buoyant element designated as a bridging element (3), which also functions as the life jacket collar support. The bridging element is designed to fold around and behind the user's head when in water. The left and right main buoyant elements (1, 2) have each two protrusions of buoyant material for added buoyancy, one in the back (lb, 2b) at the side of the user's head and one in the front at the abdominal area (la, 2a), of which the protrusion (la) of the left main buoyant element (1) is thicker than the protrusion (2a) on right main buoyant element (1).

A harness (6) is attached behind the left main buoyant element (1) and the right main buoyant element (2). A polymer zipper (7) connects and locks together the left main buoyant element (1) and the right main buoyant element (2) when the life jacket is in use by a user. A buckle (8) and a strap (9) is integrated into the left main buoyant element (1) and rear harness (6) allowing the user to tighten the life jacket around the waist as necessary. A left bottom strap (11A) and a right bottom strap ( 1 IB) fulfill the same tightening function around the user's legs in order to lock vertical movement of the life jacket. Other features of the life jacket include a front pocket (13), front facing reflector patches (12A, 12B) for increased visibility, perforated side patches (4A, 4B) as a means for releasing trapped air in the life jacket, and a top strap (5) as an optional third person means for pulling a life jacket user out of the water.

The life jacket has an untrad itional and asymmetrical appearance from what was previously accessible in the commercial market, however the design of this novel life jacket is focused on meeting regulatory safety standards, such as providing the necessary freeboard, and being functional, especially for user's activities in play and sports.

The collar area of the life jacket, consisting of the upper part of the life jacket ( 1, l b, 2, 2b, 3), is designed to be stiff enough to provide sufficient neck and head support, but also to be pliable in order to fold around and behind the user's head when in water. The col lar a rea should position the user into a stable face up position and facilitate sufficient freeboard . In addition the design of this collar facilitates a much lower counter-force which does not impede the user from turning over into the correct floating position . The elongated shape in the longitudinal direction of the main buoyant elements ( 1, 2) does not only provide buoyancy, but also contributes in keeping the life jacket user stable in water, in the same manner as swimmers, when they float motionless in water stretching out their limbs for added stability, in effect the mai n buoyant elements ( 1, 2) act as additional limbs for the life jacket user. The uneven protrusions of buoyant material in the thorax and abdominal area ( la, 2a) do not have a noticeable effect on buoyancy and stability when the life jacket user is floating in a face up and stable position, however, the protrusions ( la, 2a) which facilitate an asymmetrical distribution of buoyancy create a torqueing motion around the life jacket user's longitudinal axis that will self-adjust and turn a life jacket user, floating either in a face down or a sideways position, to a face up and stable position.

The shape and stiffness of the collar area ( 1, lb, 2, 2b, 3) actually counteracts the torqueing motion facilitated by the abdominal protrusions ( la, 2a) if a life jacket user should land in the water face down or in a sideways position. The life jacket is therefore designed to have more buoyant material placed in the lower half of the lifejacket than in the upper half.

The buoyant material may be inherently buoyant or an inflated chamber.