The Anti-Crushing Device is designed to buy life-saving time when a mariner goes overboard.
Manufactured by Anti-Crushing Device LLC out of Wickliffe, Ky., the 45-pound cube with handle and attached line comes in a cradle to install on barges. It is meant to be close by and easily accessible in an emergency.
“If you’re doing any docking or fleeting, that’s when you’re going to want to have these on your barges,” inventor Matt Schapker said.
Schapker invented the patent-pending device, which he has been working on for the past 2-1/2 years. It became available for purchase earlier this month.
The Anti-Crushing Device is similar to a boat bumper in that it prevents two barges or a barge and a dock from bumping together. It differs in that its cubic shape is designed to hold them a set distance apart and to minimize their movement, creating a safer space in between to prevent anyone who falls overboard from being crushed against the side of the barge. The design is meant to provide time to throw the mariner a life ring and to get the person out of the water.
“Our hope is to have it on every barge and every fleet operating on the inland waterways and just give people a few seconds when they need them,” Schapker said.
The Anti-Crushing Device has undergone testing indicating it can withstand compression of up to 60,000 pounds. It is buoyant and highly visible.
Schapker works with ABCO Marine and is familiar with the unique needs of the marine industry. He got the idea for the Anti-Crushing Device after representatives from companies approached him to ask if there was anything on the market that would help protect a mariner in an overboard situation until he or she can be retrieved from the water.
“We had customers who were trying to make their own [devices] that weren’t working,” he said. “We had deckhands that were going into the water that were being crushed, killed, injured. As it kept happening, I had to come up with something.”
The device looks like a cube that is 14 inches on each side, painted orange and white and has a handle on top and coiled rigging. The cradle in which it is mounted can be installed in about 10 minutes and will withstand outdoor exposure in all types of weather, Schapker said. It is guaranteed to remain free from fading for one year.
The device is designed for installation on any type of barge, from tank barges to deck barges to hopper barges and will work whether the barge is fully loaded or empty.
“We spent a huge amount of time thinking about all the what-ifs,” Schapker said. “This is the final product of all those what-ifs.”
Schapker said it is his hope that when a company is having a barge built that the devices will be part of the order so that Anti-Crushing Devices can be sent straight to the shipyard for installation.
“It’s meant to be out of the way so it’s not a slip/trip/fall hazard, but it’s meant to be at an arm’s reach,” he said. “If you have anybody going in the water, you’re going to want to have one of these on your barges.”
For more about the Anti-Crushing Device, visit www.anticrushingdevice.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Caption for top photo: Anti-Crushing Device can withstand compression of up to 60,000 pounds. (Photo courtesy of Anti-Crushing Device LLC)