An improvement in apparatus for preserving life in case of shipwreck or other similar contingency, has been made by W. R. Phipps, of Framicgham, Mass. The object of the invention consists in attaching propellers or paddles to the feet of persons thrown into the water, to be used in connection with the usual life-preserving apparatus around the body ; the paddle is so constructed that when the foot of the person is moved forward, it does not act upon the water, but when moved in the contrary direction, it falls down at right angles to the bottom of the foot, and acts upon the water like a paddle. It is hung by a hinge to the foot plate, and serves to balance the body when in the water, as well as to assist in moving it in any desired direction. By means of this apparatus and the common life preserver, a person may walk quite rapidly in water without inconvenience or danger. Measures have been taken to secure a patent.