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breeches buoy

noun, Nautical
a rescue device consisting of a life buoy from which is suspended a canvas sling, similar in form to a pair of breeches, in which shipwrecked or disabled persons are hauled from a vessel to the shore or to another vessel by means of a rope and pulley between them.
Origin of breeches buoy
1875-80 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for breeches buoy

breeches buoy

a ring-shaped life buoy with a support in the form of a pair of short breeches, in which a person is suspended for safe transfer from a ship
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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