Navy Universal Breathing Mask – UBM

Oceanit’s Universal Breathing Mask is a shipboard multipurpose mask developed to address overlapping threats such as fires, gas, chemical and biohazards, and flooding. 

Oceanit is working with the U.S. Navy to develop the next-generation Universal Breathing Mask (UBM). UBM is an innovative shipboard emergency mask system that adapts to multiple overlapping threats and situations, including fire and smoke, hazardous gases, air deprivation, flooding, and more.

This versatile gear could replace the numerous mask types currently required for these individual scenarios. The UBM combines the functionalities of an Emergency Escape Breathing Device (EEBD) for safe egress, a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) mask for hazardous gases, a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus (SCBA) for firefighting, and also provides underwater breathing capability. This collaborative effort with the U.S. Navy aims to streamline the onboard emergency equipment and enhance sailor survivability.

Navy Lt. Daniel Conley first conceptualized a universal mask, driven by concerns over the limited functionality of the Navy’s current surface ship breathing apparatuses. These conventional masks cater to specific scenarios, meaning sailors must switch masks if faced with evolving or overlapping emergencies. This process risks exposure or incapacitation during the critical moments of mask transition. In some cases, the ship may not even be outfitted with enough of a specific mask type for every sailor. The UBM seeks to eliminate this vulnerability by enabling the changing of attachments to address a given scenario.

Moreover, the UBM offers significant safety advantages as a reusable piece of equipment, in stark contrast to single-use EEBDs. As the EEBD is a one-time-use apparatus, most U.S. sailors have never actually deployed one, receiving training only through presentations or demonstrations on dummies. This lack of hands-on experience is a concern for the Navy, especially as the EEBD is a nationally certified device, relied upon heavily by the military and mandated for all passenger ships under the international SOLAS Convention.

Oceanit’s novel UBM facilitates actual hands-on training for users with interchangeable components that lock into place but aren’t necessarily consumed, thereby reducing workplace hazards and improving preparedness.

The development of the Universal Breathing Mask represents a significant advancement in shipboard emergency response equipment. The comprehensive design enhances the safety and preparedness of Navy personnel and holds promise for broader applications in various high-risk professions, such as civilian sailing and firefighting. By enabling rapid adaptation to diverse or simultaneous emergency scenarios and by facilitating practical training experiences, the UBM will become an indispensable tool in ensuring safety and readiness in critical situations.

Key Information:

  • UBM is a versatile mask that combines the capabilities of EEBD, CBRN, and SCBA, and additionally offers underwater breathing functionality.
  • The UBM eliminates the need to switch masks during evolving emergency situations, thereby reducing health hazards by preventing exposure to harmful agents.
  • As a reusable piece of equipment, UBM facilitates practical, hands-on training for users.