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Unconscious SCUBA Diver Rescue Device

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000241214D
Publication Date: 2015-Apr-06
Document File: 3 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a device to enable the rescue of an unconscious diver that is using a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA). The method and device consists of three automated actions to ensure safe ascension from the water and flotation while awaiting rescue: recognition of unconsciousness, activation of positive buoyancy, and face-up floatation of the diver.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 46% of the total text.

Page 01 of 3

Unconscious SCUBA Diver Rescue Device

Divers using a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (SCUBA) may become unconscious for a number of reasons. Even when a diver has a diving partner who recognizes that the other has gone unconscious, there are many complications around getting the diver to the surface, such as rate of ascension.

The disclosed method and device enables the rescue of a disabled SCUBA diver, even if the diver is alone, out of reach, and unconscious.

The disclosed method and device includes three parts. First, the method and device detects a lapse into unconsciousness and starts a process for getting the diver safely to the surface. Second, the method and device implements positive buoyancy to quickly and safely bring the diver to the surface. Third, the method and device ensures that the diver is floating face up, above the surface of the water to avoid drowning while waiting for help to arrive.

The following provides specific details regarding the above described method and device.

Part 1: Recognition of Unconsciousness

A symptom of unconsciousness is loss of focus in vision. The disclosed method and

device includes a diving mask with a specifically designed lens to track eye movements of a diver. Using an algorithm based on normal eye movements, the method and device determines unconsciousness responsive to eye focus or closure and triggers a light beacon on the back of the diver, indicating to a diving partner that there is a potential problem. If the regulator or breathing apparatus is retained in the diver's mouth, emergency actions might not be necessary. It is important, nevertheless, to alert the partner diver to the potential hazard, so that the diving partner may check up on the diver in question. This also prevents false positives, such as the diver resting his/her eyes for a moment longer than normal, daydreaming and losing eye focus, or other possible reasons.

According to The Diving Committee of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medical Society,

"The relaxation that happens when someone loses consciousness can cause the jaw to become slack, and can cause water to enter the mouth or can lead to the regulator falling out of the mouth."* This presents an immediate danger, because breathing stops

when the regulator falls out of the diver's mouth. A saltwater sensor inside the regulator triggers an alert responsive to a regulator falling from the diver's mouth.

The next part of the present method and device concerns getting the diver quickly to the surface and is initiated responsive to receipt of both a saltwater sensor signal and determination of unconsciousness based on eye movement/focus as described herein above.

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Page 02 of 3

Part 2: Activation of Positive Buoyancy

The most commonly recognized "maximum safe rate of ascension" for a diver is 30 feet per minute. Going faster than this can lead to decompression sickness, the bends, or other serious medical concerns. However, many dives occur at de...