Man OverBoard Procedure


All Sailors must know how to react quickly to a crew overboard situation.

The hallmark of the Quick-Stop Rescue method is the immediate reduction of boat speed by turning in a direction to windward and thereafter maneuvering at modest speed, remaining near the PIW. This rescue requires these steps:

1) As soon as a crew member falls overboard, throw buoyant objects, such as cushions,life jackets or life rings, to the PIW and shout, “Crew overboard!” These objects may notonly come to the aid of the PIW, but will “litter the water” where he or she wentoverboard and help the spotter to keep him or her in view. It has been determined that the deployment of the standard overboard pole rig requires too much time. The pole rigis saved to “put on top” of the person in case the initial maneuver is unsuccessful.

2) Designate someone to spot and point at the PIW. The spotter should NEVER take his or her eyes off the PIW.

3) Bring the boat into the wind, trimming the mainsail and jib to close-hauled.

4) Continue to turn through the wind, without releasing the headsail, until the wind is almost astern. Do not ease the sails.

5) Hold this course until the PIW is aft of the beam, and drop or furl the headsail if possible. If the headsail is lowered, its sheets should not be slacked.

6) Jibe the boat.
7) Steer toward the PIW as if you were going to pick up a mooring. 8) Stop the boat alongside the PIW by easing or backing sails.

9) Establish contact with the PIW with a heaving line or other device. A “throwing sock”containing 75 feet of light floating line and a kapok bag can be thrown into the wind because the line is kept inside the bag and trails out as it sails to the PIW. Attach the PIW to the boat.

10) Bring the PIW on board.

Note: This method should be executed under sail alone unless there is insufficient wind to maneuver the boat.

Quickstop -Man overboard! Throw flotation. Post spotter. -Bring boat head-to-wind and beyond. -Allow headsail to back and further slow the boat. -Keep turning with headsail backed until wind is abaft the beam. -Head on beam to broad-reach course for two or three lengths, then go to nearly dead downwind. -Drop the headsail while keeping the mainsail centered (or nearly so). The jib sheets are not slacked, even during the dousing maneuver, to keep them inside the lifelines. Hold the downward course until victim is abaft the beam. -Jibe. -Approach the victim on a course of approximately 45 to 60 degrees off the wind. Establish contact with the victim with heaving line or other device. -Effect victim recovery from the windward side.

Quickstop Under Spinnaker -The same procedure is used to accommodate a spinnaker. Follow the preceding instructions. As the boat comes head-to-wind and the pole is eased to the head stay, the spinnaker halyard is lowered and the sail is gathered on the fore deck. The turn is continued through the tack and the approach phase commences. -Man overboard! Throw flotation. Post spotter. -Steer to a beam reach immediately. -Tack after about five boat lengths. Here's where the roller-furling jib can be furled. Continue to bear away after tacking until the boat has turned past the direction of the victim and aim toward a spot about three boat lengths directly downwind of the victim. -Before the boat reaches this spot, it will come to an area where the victim is in a close reach direction from the boat. The eye of the wind and the victim will be about 60 degrees apart. -Head up immediately to the windward side of the victim and release sheets in time for the boat to come to a stop next to the victim. -Make sure the boat comes to a stop by easing the tiller to leeward (toward the victim). As the boat slows it will try to bear away on its own. When it comes to a stop, you can have the tiller 45 degrees to leeward and the boat won't head up due to loss of steerageway. At this point, the boat is stabilized and you can get the victim aboard without the boat trying to sail away.