Person Overboard Procedure
- Wear harnesses and clip in tether at all times. Occasional exceptions made for costal, daylight sailing in light wind while remaining in the cockpit.
- When going on deck, clip tether onto jackline prior to exiting the cockpit. Use the windward side, and move cautiously with one hand holding on to a secure point on the boat.
- Do not go forward unless there is another person in the cockpit.
- Use the head below instead of peeing off the side.
- Loudly call out “crew overboard” and get all hands on deck.
- Throw SOS Dan Buoy Person-Overboard Marker stored on overhead Bimini struts.
- Throw other floating paraphernalia to help make location visible.
- Post a look out to maintain visual contact with the victim and point with arm fully extended at all times.
- At night, keep the thrower flashlight trained on the person in the water.
- Push the Waypoint/POB button on the chart plotter.
- Make Pan-Pan and all stations DSC call on the VHF to get nearby boats to help.
- Listen for yelling or whistle. Keep an eye on AIS for beacon activation.
Maneuvering the boat
- Make sure there are no trailing lines in the water to foul the prop and turn on the engine.
- Lookout directs the helmsman to the most effective direction to turn and verbally directs the helmsman to the vicinity of the person in the water.
- Utilize the motor, forward and reverse, to maneuver the boat downwind toward the victim.
- When approaching the person in the water, do not maneuver the boat up close; throw the Life Sling or heaving line to the person.
- The skipper will bring the boat alongside the MOB, with the boat pointing into the wind and the propeller stopped.
- In extreme conditions or when shorthanded, the “waterski tow rope” method of making contact with the victim is invaluable. Circle safely and slowly around victim until they grab the floating tow rope and work their way to the floating harness that can double as a lifting sling.
- Drop the sails.
- Deploy the MOM8.
- Utilize the throw rope (buoyant heaving line) to make contact with person overboard and secure the individual to the side of the boat.
- When the person in the water is secured to the boat with a line, place the engine in neutral and turn off.
Getting back aboard
- Rig the emergency heavy canvas ladder, located in the life raft locker, on the side of boat closer to the person in the water. The ladder should be rigged as close to amidships as possible, with at least two crew members available to assist getting the person in the water back aboard.
- Use the spinnaker or main halyard to hoist the person aboard using the life sling or the individual’s harness. The winch on the port side cabin top may be used to raise the halyard and person.
- Maneuver the person to the stern and hoist them up using the dinghy davit.
- Care for possible near drowning.
- Wrap individual in a warm blanket or towel.
- Assess for hypothermia and treat injuries.