> Regarding those "Man Overboard" drills ...
> It is good to practice such things, and relatively often at that, as such
> an event can and often does happen when you least expect it.
Without having practiced it, I doubt we could have effected a rescue. The
boat was a seventy six foot schooner with two jibs, fore, main and running
backstays, so just handling the boat required a clear procedure and plenty
of practice, because all boat handling was going to have to be done by two
people (since one is in the water, one is spotting, and one is handling
the man overboard gear).
> As for how to best respond to an individual who has gone over the side
> and is incapable of assisting in his or her rescue, for one I can only
> rely on the training received in this regard while in the Navy.
> The process was short and simple, i.e., while at sea each member of the
> crew knew in advance what he was to be doing in any given event, and in
> the case of a man overboard incident, there was a "Man Overboard Detail."
> The make up of this detail, who was a part of it and what their function
> was while in that detail once activated what WRITTEN DOWN AND POSTED for
> all to see, and each individual had a copy of those standing orders as
> well; i.e., there was no doubt as to who was to do what, when.
Since we had five crew on board, there was no detail, because it was an
all hands situation.
> The Man Overboard Detail consisted of several individuals:
> .1. The Swimmer
> .2. The Lookout
> .3. The Gunner/Shooter
> .4. The Deck Detail
> .5. The Communicator
> .6. The Head of the Man Overboard Party
> .7. The Medic
We had a similar arrangement, but adapted for the boat and crew. The
helmsman was acting captain for the overboard situation. This is because
the captain may have been the victim, or may have been in his bunk at the
time, and the helmsman is the person most likely to have seen the
incident, be aware of the boat's status (point of sail, what sails are
set, wind and sea conditions, whether the preventers are rigged, etc.). If
the captain is not the helmsman, he takes orders from the helmsman during
the drill. The helmsman sounds the alert, and assigns each crew a position
as they come on deck.
> The Swimmer did not always have to go into the water to effect a rescue,
> but was always appropriately equipped and prepared to do just that
> The Lookout had only one function, using glasses he was to sight the
> individual who went over the side and keep in constant visual contact
> with that person, and relay to the head of the Man Overboard Detail
> anything of interest.
We called him the Spotter. This position was assigned (by the helmsman) to
whoever was on deck, or the first one out of the cabin. As in your drill,
the only job of the Spotter is to keep his eyes on the swimmer.
> The Gunner/Shooter, was there for shark protection, for both the man lost
> over the side and the swimmer if he was in the water.
We didn't have one of these. We had one crew assigned to the rig, i.e., he
was the person who, along with the helmsman, handled the boat. With two
jibs, fore, main, running backstays, and preventers on both booms (off the
wind), the workload for the boat handlers was considerable.
> The Deck Detail took care of the tossing of the life ring and the hauling
> in the one or the other or both the victim and/or the swimmer.
That was our fourth and final position, the handling of the emergency
equipment. He was also to put on a harness and lifejacket and stand by to
go over the side if ordered to.
> The Communicator may have no direct function in civil applications, but
> was used to keep those in Control appraised of just what was going on
> The Head of the Man Overboard Detail was just that. He was in charge of
> the proceeding and what he said, went. The Swimmer did NOT go over the
> side to aid the victim unless specifically ordered to do so by the detail
> head. The rifleman did NOT load and lock unless told to do so by the Head
> of the Detail. It was to the Head of the detail that the Lookout reported
> any and all noticable changes he could see regarding not only the man in
> the water, but the waters near and about the individual lost over the
> side. The Communicator/Talker relayed any and all messages from topside
> to those below. The Deck Detail prepared the heavy line/s and such other
> gear was might be needed to effect a rescue. As for the medic, he
> patiently waited in full view but out of the way, hoping that his services
> really wouldn't be needed.
> Hope this helps
It's interesting to see that the procedure we developed, after a full day
of increasingly realistic drills, was similar to that of the Navy, adapted
to the size of our crew and the boat. What I'm curious about is what
criteria had to be met in order for the Swimmer to be ordered into the
water, and whether there was any alternative to doing so if the victim was