“Man Over Board” are three words a captain never wants to hear. But what’s worse is hearing those words and being unprepared. Take these steps to ensure a successful rescue.
- Shout ‘man overboard’ followed by that victim’s orientation. For example: MAN OVER BOARD PORT SIDE!
- Designate at least one crewmember to maintain a constant visual with the person in the water. If there are no other passengers ensure that you never take your eyes of them as it is very easy to lose sight of a head bobbing in open water.
- You should throw numerous flotation devices to the victim. This will not only aid with buoyancy but to create a more visible debris field.
- If feasible you should mark down the victims location on either a chart or chart plotter. If you lose sight of the MOB this information will be crucial in their recovery. (Most chart plotters have a MOB button)
- Make a wide 180-degree turn towards the victim and approach them slowly from the side of the vessel.
- If you feel like you will NOT be able to rescue the man overboard yourself immediately notify the coast guard on VHF channel 16.