Crew Overboard Drill

Crew Overboard Drill

Post by Andrew Falc » Fri, 14 Jul 1995 04:00:00


In preparation for a just-completed transatlantic trip, we spent a full
day doing crew overboard drills on the Chesapeake Bay. I had rescued
cushions before, but this was my first drill where we put people in the
water, and it was an eye opening experience.

The most difficult problem we faced was recovering an unconscious swimmer.
The Lifesling, which was great with a conscious swimmer, was not only
useless, but a positive liability when the swimmer could not take an
active role in the recovery. We could not find any alternative to sending
another person overboard (with lifejacket and harness, of course). Any
thoughts on how to avoid this?

 
 
 

Crew Overboard Drill

Post by ejb » Sat, 15 Jul 1995 04:00:00

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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
topside.

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

 
 
 

Crew Overboard Drill

Post by Neil Widm » Sat, 15 Jul 1995 04:00:00

Hi, I'm looking for Dave Collins on the net.

This is Neil Widmer and Dan said you had an e-mail system.  I was hoping
you subscribed to rec.boats and you could drop me a line so I could get
you e-mail address.

I'm interested in how things are going at the Scouts and also interest
in talking to you about the dinghies you have and possibly buying a
spare spinnaker pole if you have extra.  So drop me a line if you get
this message.

Thanks.

 
 
 

Crew Overboard Drill

Post by Andrew Falc » Sat, 15 Jul 1995 04:00:00


Quote:

> 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).

Quote:

> 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.

Quote:

> 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.

Quote:

> 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.

Quote:

> 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.

Quote:

> 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.

Quote:

> 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
> topside.

> 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
unconscious.
 
 
 

Crew Overboard Drill

Post by Peter W. Me » Sun, 16 Jul 1995 04:00:00

: Regarding those "Man Overboard" drills ...
<cuts>
: 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

: 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.
<cuts>

For rec.boaters, where the people available are likely to be
fewer and be different from trip to trip, I'd suggest that
(assuming at least two people left on board) that the
skipper first assign one to lookout duty ONLY, telling him to
keep an arm pointed at the MOB at all times, and asign
other duties as needed and as crew is available.

"<BOB>! Keep looking at <Jim> all the time and keep your
arm pointed at him all the time; don't do anything else!
<Sam>, get the throwable out of that locker and hold it ready..."

If you lose sight of a MOB, you are not likely to regain
it if conditions are bad, so lookout is the most important
duty and MUST be maintained full time with no distractions.
If the skipper is the only one left on board, then he must
do lookout and helm as best he can until the boat is close
to the MOB and then attend other duties when relocating
the MOB visually again is likely to be successful.

Again and again it turns out that survivors are those
who mentally plan out what they will do when/if a
problem occurs BEFOREHAND. Few people have the mental
capacity to come up with a good plan IN an emergency.
Most people have the capacity to come up with one
ahead of time and remember it.

A final note on "arm pointing": in busy/crowded
boating waters, the stiff, exagerated arm-pointing
serves as notice to other boats that something (or
someone) is in the water and may provide some protection
to the MOB. The down-angle can give some indication of
range as well as direction. This should be done by
the "observer" in downed water-skier situations, too,
but it's very rare to see it.

--

The best navigators are not always certain of where they are,
but they are always aware of their uncertainty. <unknown>

 
 
 

Crew Overboard Drill

Post by John Kenne » Mon, 17 Jul 1995 04:00:00



Quote:


>> Regarding those "Man Overboard" drills ...
>>much cut<<

Hillarys Yacht Club (Perth, Western Australia) held its first club based MOB
course last summer in January. We race and cruise on the Indian Ocean with
relatively large distances between "safe havens".
All club skippers AND crews were asked to attend our MOB course which was so
successful that it is intended this will become an annual event.
The course basically broke down into:
* a brief lecture by a very experienced (around the World) sailor.
* discussion on the pros and cons of various methods and procedures.
* printed documentation on procedures and equipment.
* on the water practice for a couple of hours. During this crew were
deliberately placed on vessels they were unfamiliar with and EVERYONE present
took their turn at performing ALL tasks. It might after all be the skipper who
is MOB!
The course was an overwhelming success - it was simply amazing how many
skippers "knew the theory", but had never got around to trying it out! And as
fr crew - well there were several who had never taken the helm before, so you
can imagine the problems they had.
In our, what can be in-hospitable, environment it is prudent that all crew can
perform all actions (i.e. not just MOB drill, but basic radio communication,
helming, reefing, starting the iron-headsail, etc, etc.) Emergencies do
happen!
John K

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      The Kennedy Family
   Perth, Western Australia
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