Six Tips to Make MOB Recovery Easier

Valuable Tips to Help in a MOB Situation

1. Planning and preparation
Make a plan about how you would react, and think about the things you will need to do. Remember the most important factor is time.

2. Control
Control the situation and don't panic. Get the vessel under control first, and if you have additional crew get them to move to step 3 immediately.

3. Locate

  • Identify the person in the water. If you have additional crew, make sure a crew member is given the responsibility to keep the MOB in sight at all times.
  • Deploy a danbuoy marker as soon as possible. Even if it ends up 20 yards away from the MOB, it will still help you to bring the vessel back to the approximate location once you have turned around.
  • Remember, with the adrenaline surging and the wind blowing, it is easy to lose your bearings as you struggle to turn the vessel around quickly.

4. Contact

  • Make contact with the MOB. Don't waste time trying to manoeuvre the vessel perfectly next to the person in the water. It is easier to bring the man overboard to you.
  • Use a throw line or stream a rescue sling behind the vessel to draw the casualty in.

5. Recovery

Make sure you have a means of helping the casualty back on board. Bear in mind that the casualty will usually be cold, tired and shocked so they may not be able to help themselves.

  • A permanent boarding ladder on the stern that can deploy at least a metre under the water is one option.
  • Webbing ladders or scramble nets deployed over the side is another.
  • A rescue sling under the arms can be used to winch the person back on board.
  • There are several types of scoop devices that can roll the MOB up to the top side of a boat.

6. Practice

Possibly the best tip of all! Break your plan down into its component parts and practice each one thoroughly. And you don't have to throw a person into the water!

  • Start by shouting 'man overboard' without warning and practice getting the vessel under control.
  • Throw a dark-coloured fender in the water with a rope loop attached for recovery.
  • Try keeping an eye on it as you manoeuvre the vessel.
  • Try deploying a danbuoy once the fender has gone overboard.
  • With the vessel back near the danbuoy or fender, see if you can hit it with a throw line, or stream your rescue sling and see how close you get.

We would never advocate placing a crewman in the water for the sake of practice, unless the crewman was in good physical health and there was the additional support of a separate rescue boat. However if there is, then a swim from the bathing platform or off the transom in the summer months might be a useful opportunity to evaluate how easy it is - or not - to get back on board.




The Beacon Logo

For the latest marine safety news each month, regulation changes and invaluable practical safety advice, simply submit your email address.