Emergency Flotation Device

Abstract

An emergency flotation device particularly suited for use in emergency situations. The flotation device includes a buoyant body having a flexible ring-shaped member on a first end thereof, wherein the ring-shaped member can be positioned around a user's neck so as to secure the flotation device to the user. A first side of the body includes a hook thereon and a second side of the body includes an extendable cable having a fastener thereon, wherein the fastener can be engaged with the hook of a second flotation device. The body also includes one or more LEDs thereon for drawing attention to the user and further includes a whistle secured thereto. One or more handles are positioned on the body to allow the user to easily grasp the flotation device while in use.

Claims

I claim: 1 ) An emergency flotation device, comprising: a buoyant body having a first end and a second end; a ring-shaped member disposed on said first end and adapted to be disposed over a user's head; a hook on a first side of said body; a fastener on a second side of said body for securing multiple buoyant bodies to one another via said hook said first side of said buoyant body. 2 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein said body further comprises one or more handles thereon. 3 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 2 , wherein said one or more handles are arranged on opposing sides of said body. 4 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein said body further includes one or more lights thereon. 5 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 4 , wherein said one or more lights are LEDs. 6 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein said body further comprises a whistle adjustably secured thereon via a retractable cable. 7 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein multiple buoyant bodies can be secured to one another by engaging said hook of a first buoyant body to said fastener of a second buoyant body. 8 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein said fastener comprises a carabiner. 9 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein said fastener is disposed on an extendable cable on said second side of said body. 10 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein said body is composed of foam. 11 ) The emergency flotation device of claim 1 , wherein said body is inflatable.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION [0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/078,035 filed on Nov. 11, 2014. The above identified patent application is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety to provide continuity of disclosure. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention [0002] The present invention relates to flotation devices. More specifically, the present invention provides an emergency flotation device that can be positioned around a user's neck and that includes a buoyant body for a user to hold while floating in the water. The body further includes handles for the user to hold, a whistle and lights to draw the attention of rescue or emergency personnel, and a hook and fastener for securing multiple flotation devices to one another. [0003] Many people are not strong swimmers and require the use of flotation devices when in the water, such as young children, the elderly, and people having physical disabilities. Additionally, it is important to have an emergency flotation device for emergencies such as floods, particularly in areas near large bodies of water, or areas below sea level. Further, boats must have sufficient flotation devices on board for passengers to use in the event of an emergency. [0004] Conventional flotation devices, such as life vests, can be bulky and are difficult to store and transport. Further, many people may have difficulty adorning the life vest and inflating the life vest properly since the life vest requires the user to insert his or her arms through openings on the vest and then secure the front of the vest on the user's chest. Other flotation devices such as elongated floats are not secured to the user and can be difficult to hold. Thus, the user may lose the flotation device in the water, and the user may struggle to hold onto the flotation device in order to remain afloat. [0005] Additionally, life vests and other conventional flotation devices lack means for drawing attention to the user so that the user can receive aid from a rescue team or emergency personnel. The user must scream and shout in order to draw attention to themselves, and the user may be particularly hard to locate at night or in low visibility. Thus, an improved emergency flotation device having means for drawing attention to the user so that the user can obtain aid and rescue is desired. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0006] In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of flotation devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new flotation device wherein the same can be utilized for providing convenience for the user when remaining afloat in water during an emergency. [0007] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved flotation device that has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages. [0008] It is another object of the present invention to provide a flotation device comprising a buoyant body having a ring shaped member thereon for securement around a user's neck. [0009] Another object of the present invention is to provide a flotation device comprising a buoyant body having one or more handles for a user to hold while in the water. [0010] Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a flotation device having one or more lights thereon for drawing attention to the user while in the water. [0011] A further object of the present invention is to provide a flotation device having a whistle adjustably secured thereon for allowing the user to draw attention to himself or herself while in the water. [0012] An additional object of the present invention is to provide a flotation device capable of being removably secured to additional flotation devices of the present invention, wherein a first side includes a hook thereon and a second side includes an extendable cable with a fastener thereon. [0013] Another object of the present invention is to provide a flotation device that may be readily fabricated from materials that permit relative economy and are commensurate with durability. [0014] Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS [0015] Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself and manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood after a review of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like numeral annotations are provided throughout. [0016] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the flotation device of the present invention. [0017] FIG. 2 shows a view of multiple flotation devices of the present invention secured to one another. [0018] FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the flotation device in use. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0019] Reference is made herein to the attached drawings. Like reference numerals are used throughout the drawings to depict like or similar elements of the emergency flotation device. For the purposes of presenting a brief and clear description of the present invention, the preferred embodiment will be discussed as used for keeping the user afloat in water during an emergency situation. The figures are intended for representative purposes only and should not be considered to be limiting in any respect. [0020] Referring now to FIG. 1 , there is shown a perspective view of an embodiment of the flotation device of the present invention. The flotation device 11 comprises a body 12 having a first end 13 and a second end 14 . The body 12 is buoyant so that it can float in water and help to keep the user afloat. The body 12 is preferably composed of a buoyant material, such as a lightweight plastic or foam. Alternatively, in some embodiments, the body 12 is inflatable and includes a waterproof exterior shell with a hollow interior volume. In such embodiments, the body 12 further includes an air valve that can be used to fill the body 12 with air, wherein the air valve can be removably sealed by a plug. [0021] The second end 14 of the body 12 includes a ring-shaped member 15 thereon having a central opening 16 . The ring-shaped member 15 is adapted to be disposed over a user's head so as to secure the flotation device 11 to a user. The ring-shaped member 15 can be composed of a flexible or stretchable material so that it can be disposed on users of various sizes. In some embodiments, the ring-shaped member 15 is inflatable or is composed of a buoyant material. [0022] The body 12 includes one or more handles 17 thereon. Preferably, the handles 17 are arranged on opposing sides of the body 12 so that the user can hold a handle 17 in each hand while wearing the flotation device 11 . A first side of the body 12 includes a ring or hook 23 thereon, and the second side of the body 12 includes an extendable cable 22 with a fastener 21 thereon. In this way, the fastener 21 of a first flotation device 11 can be removably secured to the hook 23 of a second flotation device 11 in order to connect the flotation devices 11 to one another. [0023] The body 12 may also include one or more lights 18 thereon. Preferably, the lights 18 are positioned on the first end 13 of the body 12 . The lights 18 are visible when the flotation device 11 is floating on the surface of the water, and helps to draw attention to the user. The body 12 also includes a whistle 19 disposed on an extendable cable 20 , wherein the user can blow the whistle 19 in order to draw attention to himself or herself. [0024] Referring now to FIG. 2 , there is shown a view of multiple flotation devices of the present invention secured to one another. One or more flotation devices 11 can be secured together in a side-by-side orientation. The fastener 21 on the second side of a first flotation device 11 can be secured to a hook or ring 23 on a first side of a second flotation device 11 . The fastener 21 is preferably a carabiner or a similar releasable fastening device. The fastener 21 is disposed on an extendable cable 22 that can be extended from the body 12 so that the fastener 21 can be connected to the hook or ring 23 on a second flotation device 11 . When not in use, the extendable cable 22 can be retracted into the body 12 so that the fastener 21 is adjacent to the side of the body 12 . [0025] Referring now to FIG. 3 , there is shown a perspective view of the emergency flotation device in use. In operation, the user can dispose the ring-shaped member over his or her head so as to adorn the flotation device 11 . The body 12 is positioned on the surface of the water in front of the user, and the user can hold the handles 17 on opposing sides of the body 12 . The body 12 is buoyant and will help the user to remain afloat in the water. [0026] One or more lights 18 are enclosed within the body 12 and are adapted to allow the user to be more easily located by emergency personnel. The lights 18 are powered by a power source within the body 12 and the lights 18 and power source are substantially waterproof so that the lights 18 will be not damaged when used in the water. Further, a whistle is attached to the body 12 , wherein the user can blow the whistle in order to draw attention to himself or herself so that he or she can be rescued. [0027] It is therefore submitted that the instant invention has been shown and described in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. [0028] Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.

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