Man Overboard Proceedures

Someone asked me recently if I get scared when sailing. I answered no, not scared as such..twitched perhaps in new (to me) situations usually based on the “heck, can I do this properly” factor. 
I have been in scary situations but not on our boat. Several years ago on a night watch mid Atlantic I was trying to alter course during a squall. My hand hit standby rather than the plus / minus buttons, we were flying the spinnaker which then blew out and “gift wrapped” the boat. Yes I was terrified as very inexperienced so shouldn’t have been left on watch alone anyhow. A few days later on the same boat the boom cracked and split in half, that was stressful, noisy and took quite a while to resolve.
Back to our boat, we run a tight ship in that we discuss and prepare for what we need to do. One example is that this year has been my first Med mooring (at times) situation so I asked questions to make sure I knew what I had to do. So far just one screw up, hey-ho!
If I ask other couples, question directed at the women, what is your biggest fear the answer is invariably this: “my partner falls overboard and I’m not sure if I can recover him/her”. This is such a valid concern, generally speaking in male/female couples the man is heavier and stronger, what to do?
This article is absolutely fantastic and I applaud them for trying out various techniques and documenting them. Makes my feeble “rescue Freddy the Fender” truly pathetic!  
What do you do to practise and set procedure plans? I’d love your tips.
As we always say, sailing is totally safe until you forget it can be very dangerous. Stay safe folks and fair winds 🙂 

2 Replies to "Man Overboard Proceedures"

  • comment-avatar
    Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor August 6, 2015 (11:20 am)

    I’ve never done Med mooring – seems very confusing and complicated. A MOB situation with my husband is one of my big fears too. I can’t imagine how I would get him back on the boat. I know all the theories, but it seems hard to imagine it playing out in reality.

    • comment-avatar
      admin August 7, 2015 (4:50 am)

      Hi Ellen, yep Med mooring can be confusing plus who wants to tie up on a wall when there’s a beautiful anchorage? Useful at times though for the ease of stepping off rather than dinghy with dress tucked in knickers to avoid getting wet, hehe. MOB scenario is scary, we do have Raymarine “life tags” on our jackets, they sound an alarm and give coordinates of our position. Not silly expensive and reassuring to have. That said, it’s funny to forget the dog has his still activated when he goes running off down a pontoon!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.