Mar 10, 2022

Edited by John Gullick, Manager of Government Programs, Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons

Ed. Note:  please review this information (even if you think you know it!)

Most of this information is taken from the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons (CPS-ECP) BOATING 4 – Seamanship course which I have updated and edited.

For more information about this and all the other CPS-ECP courses and seminars go to www.boatingcourses.ca and look under Courses and Seminars.

Man Overboard

Prevention is the best solution to avert man overboard (MOB) accidents before they happen. Take every precaution to avoid such a situation. A passenger or crew member can tumble overboard at any time and under any conditions. If someone must go on deck, in any but the calmest weather, wear a safety harness attached  to a proper jack line or suitable strong point on the boat.

Always wear a PFD that has a highly visible colour.  At night, the PFD should have a light attached, preferably a strobe, that automatically lights up when immersed in water.

Remember, PFDs (lifejackets) do not work if you are not wearing them, so we advise wearing them at all times while on deck or in an open boat while underway.

Rescue Drill, the Quick Stop Method

Remember this sequence:

Shout – Throw – Stop – Lookout – Return

 

Shout

Cry “Overboard” to alert all on board that  someone is in the water.

Throw

Immediately throw the nearest available floating object toward the victim in the water, followed by a proper life   ring and/or man-overboard pole.

Stop

Immediately, stop the boat.

Lookout

The lookout is the invisible lifeline between the victim and the boat. One of the crew must point constantly at  the victim in the water to guide the helmsman. High waves can obscure the victim and make this essential task very difficult.

Return

Return to the victim’s position as rapidly as possible. When the victim is close abeam, make sure the propellers are completely stopped. It cannot be too strongly emphasized that moving propellers will inflict grave  damage to a body.

This procedure can be carried out efficiently only after plenty of practice. Both the approach to the victim and    bringing the victim aboard should be practiced until the crew is comfortable with all steps of the procedure.

 

Rescue of the Overboard Victim

Rescue of a person overboard involves three stages:

  • bringing the victim alongside the boat;
  • bringing the victim on board;
  • caring for the victim.

Be prepared for any factors that may complicate the rescue. Sudden immersion in cold water can have serious effects. The initial gasp reflex may cause a significant amount of water to be swallowed or inhaled and can lead to near drowning. Even if the victim is wearing a PFD, near drowning can arise from water washing over the head.

Typically, there is a loss of manual dexterity and strength, even after a relatively short time in the water. Cold water effects can begin to occur within as little as 15 minutes, depending on the temperature of the water.

Be prepared for near drowning effects and the possibility that victims may be unable to swim or assist themselves. Data from the United Kingdom shows that 55%  of open water immersion deaths occur within 3 metres (10 ft) of safety, 42% within 2 metres (7 ft) of a vessel. The victim may be unable to swim these short distances even when his life may depend on it. Quick recovery is essential; practice will speed up the recovery time.

Each incident demands its own specific actions but the most important is to immediately secure a line to both the victim and your boat. There are no hard and fast rules as to whether the victim should be to windward or leeward. If on the windward side, high seas could smash the victim against the hull. There may be more shelter to leeward and the boat will not drift away. The  decision is the skipper’s.

 

Making a Rescue Maneuver

Stay near the man overboard and get back quickly under power or sail. To use the ‘quick stop’ method under sail, (Figure 1), turn the boat into the wind, and then circle the MOB slowly. Drag the  ring buoy or Lifeslingline (if you have one) or other line into the victim’s hands.

Alternatively throw a line when the boat stops. If under sail, trim the sails tight and don’t cast off the jib sheet when tacking or jibing. The mainsheet keeps the boom from banging around, and the backed jib slows the boat and allows quick turns.

Figure 1

Under Power:

Use the Williamson Turn’. Upon hearing the MOB call, note the vessel’s heading. Put the rudder over hard in the same direction as the MOB. When clear of the victim, go full ahead with the rudder hard over until you have turned about 60°. Turn the rudder full over in the opposite direction until you are heading back towards the MOB. Several metres from the MOB, take the engine out of gear and throw a line, or   lower a Lifesling, to the victim. (See Figure 2).

MOB Figure 2 400Figure 2

Note: In a MOB situation it is essential that the helm be turned in the same direction as the MOB. This turns the stern and the propellers away from the victim. As an example: a vessel doing 10 knots covers 5 m (16 ft) per second, so someone falling overboard from amidships on a 9 m (30’) boat will be astern of the propellers within one second.

Under Sail:

  • Use the figure eight’ manoeuvre (Figure 3), which involves a couple of This method is useful in strong winds because there is no jibe involved. Immediately get on a beam reach and sail for a few seconds. Then tack and reach back downwind of the MOB. Then head up to the victim trailing the Lifesling or throwing a line. As you approach the victim, either luff your sails and approach at the mini- mum speed to maintain steerage, or heave to.
  • If you heave to after returning to the MOB, the boat will be moving along very slowly and, in most cases, self-steering so nobody is needed at the helm. To do this on a close reach, trim the jib flat on the wind- ward side and adjust the mainsheet and traveler so the boat self-steers. In a variation called the ‘Rod stop’, sail on a beam reach, roll up or luff the jib and push the mainsail all the way out and secure it there with a

Figure 3:

MOB figure 3 700

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recovery of Victim Back Onboard

In most cases, the victim will be very heavy due to wet clothing and will be incapable of helping. In addition the victim may have been injured in the fall. The proc dure to get the victim back on board depends on the size of the boat, the available equipment and the number of crewmembers. Skippers must know the best pro cedure for their own boat and practice it, long before the need arises. There are no hard and fast

Rules that apply to every boat.

In general, it is hazardous to bring a victim over the stern when any kind of sea is running. It is better to bring them over the side. Studies conducted by the Royal Navy suggest that victims recovered in a horizontal position, (as illustrated in Figure 4), are less likely to collapse than victims who are upright when pulled from the water. A line made up with a bowline on a bight, or Spanish bowline should be prepared and at hand to assist in getting the victim on board.

MOB Figure 4 400Figure 4

If the boat has less than two feet of freeboard, the quickest way to get a victim back on board is to have one or two crew members take hold of an arm and shoulder on each side of the victim and then hoist the person on board. The victim must always be facing you. Do not lift a person facing away from you, as you may cause injury to the back.

If the victim is injured, weakened or unconscious launch your  life raft or dinghy, attached to your vessel by a long line. Then the rescue can be done via the smaller craft. Under no circumstances should you enter the water. If the boat is equipped with a transom platform or a swim grid the problem of high freeboard is lessened. A half-inflated rubber dinghy can aid in the recovery of the victim.

Care of the Rescued Victim

Gently lie the victim down. If the victim is conscious, remove wet clothing, wrap in a blanket or sleeping bag, and body heat will gradually warm the victim. Lying next to the victim to add your own body heat may also help. If you have been trained, and the victim is not breathing but has a heartbeat, begin rescue breathing. If the victim is unconscious, not breathing, and has no heartbeat begin CPR. Both these procedures must be continued until the victim is breathing and has a heartbeat once again. Give warm drinks once the victim is conscious. Avoid caffeine or alcohol.

Related Articles

Thursday, 19 November 2015 10:52

We've all heard this before but it's especially true when it comes to boating– knowledge is power. It is the power to confidently take your boat out with a load of passengers, go on longer trips,...

Tuesday, 05 January 2016 02:50

 We have developed a brand new weather course which is very specific to the Canadian boating environment. It provides the knowledge and seamanship advice to help you have safe, enjoyable boating...

Tuesday, 05 January 2016 01:57

CPS-ECP has acquired two more Boating Skills Virtual Trainers (BSVT). This is a simulator model jointly developed by United States Power Squadrons and Virtual Driver Interactive...    

Thursday, 07 May 2015 00:01

CPS-ECP has added additional dates to their flare disposal and safety program for 2015. In partnership with Transport Canada and CIL Dealers CPS-ECP has undertaken a pilot project on education and...

Sunday, 03 August 2014 23:33

This is an important reminder that the Early Bird deadline to register for the CPS-ECP National Conference in Quebec City this October is August 15, 2014. This conference is open to CPS-ECP members....

Tuesday, 29 October 2013 10:44

A highlight of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons Annual General Meeting held October 24, 25 and 26 in Toronto, was the culmination of the nation-wide Flag Relay celebrating their 75th...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new ...
When J/Boats set out to make their latest model, their thinking moved away from a boat that you had ...
Wellcraft launched a legacy of offshore boats from Sarasota, Florida more than 60 years ago and ...
The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and ...
Boats have been in high demand for the past two years and there’s no sign of this easing. ...
When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex ...
I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats ...
The weather wasn’t cooperating for our test of the new Fountaine Pajot Isla 40. Rain, storm clouds ...
Last August, we were again invited to the Neptunus Yachts facility in St. Catharines, Ontario to ...
Cruisers Yachts’ 34 GLS is the latest model in the Cruisers Yachts line that includes a dozen ...

Video Gallery

Neptunus 650F

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
I sail on Lake St Clair. Michigan is on one side of the lake, and Ontario is on the other. My ...
The bright summer sun forces its way through magnificent Arbutus trees as I dive off our ...
I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to ...
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...

Sunset off St. John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Our Photo of the Week this time comes from our CY Team at FLIBS. Perhaps it’s the camera angle or ...
Yes, we are once again going to the dogs, a very popular and always welcome Photo of the Week ...
Last week Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS were named today Sail Canada’s Rolex ...
This week’s Photo of the Week comes from BC. The 99th Grey Creek Regatta was held at the Lakeview ...
Back in 2019 (I believe) your magazine used a pic of Sweet Love, a Ranger Tug 31, in a photo ...
a few shots of my wife Maggie practicing her silks routine on our 1982 C&C in the North Channel ...
Last issue, we took a look at boat names. Little did we know we would get what probably will be the ...
Boat names and puns go together like …. Well, like nothing else. Here’s a couple shared by our pal ...
Frequent Windsor racing contributor to Sailing in Canada Roger Renaud, caught this gorgeous ...
The Kingston Yacht Club (KYC) celebrated its 125th anniversary in the summer of 2021, in all the ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
The world of marine electronics is just on fire in terms of development. You can almost name ...
On the water, most people store mobile devices in safe but relatively inaccessible spots. This ...
Many consider a tender a utilitarian means to an end—mere transportation. Argos Nautic's RIB ...
Internal mechanical marine tank sensors are plagued with problems that cause inaccurate readings. ...
When the weather turns ugly, how many of us contemplate just taking off, maybe forever. Long ...
Nothing is worse than going to the freezer to find that you’re out of ice. With a portable ice ...
For the skiers, wakeboarders, wakeskaters, or kneeboarders, the Kwik Tek Airhead Rope is a ...
Highly regarded by our readers as some of the best wine glasses for marine use out on the market ...
Teak accents and accessories are always a good idea. Keep your glassware safe with this appealing ...
The Hot Dog Banana Tube (aka “water weenie”) guarantees a summer full of laughter and fun.

News

  • Prev
Have you taken everything off the water already or are you still out there enjoying this amazing ...
On November 15th 2022, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), introduced ...
Originally launched in 2022, Four Winns’ H-series’ success elevated the brand’s reputation as an ...
We couldn’t resist this promotional story and video from Yanmar. Thanks. Let’s enjoy the waterways ...
If you’re a first responder, work or just spend time recreating on or near cold water, this ...
SamBoat, already well implanted in Europe, is a boat rental platform that allows people to rent ...
West coast builder, Aspen Power Catamarans, has developed a new series of lightweight rigid tenders ...
The Four Winns TH36 Catamaran had its world premiere at the Cannes Yachting Festival, September ...
After borrowing boats for a couple of years, longtime J105 fanatic and many-year organizer of the ...
Due to ongoing mechanical issues, the Kirkfield Lift Lock will remain closed for the foreseeable ...

Mercury marine V10 OutboardsOn November 15th 2022, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), introduced the industry’s first ever V10 outboard with the official launch of its all-new 5.7L 350 and 400hp Verado® outboard engines.
 
Consistent with the award-winning Verado brand, the new V10 engines are the quietest and smoothest in their class running 45 percent quieter than a leading competitor at cruise. In addition to NVH, the new Verado’s are not only compatible with the latest Mercury SmartCraft® technologies but will also be offered with an optional dual-mode 48V/12V alternator to seamlessly pair with Navico Group’s Fathom® e-power system, an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system, providing boaters the opportunity to eliminate an onboard generator system.

Read More