The Captain Rob Cozen
Certified Marine Surveyor NewsLetter
May 2000 Archive

Safety News letter by Captain Rob Cozen

MAN OVERBOARD CHECKLIST

The greatest fear that a captain of any vessel has is MAN OVERBOARD. Though many man overboard situations are caused by carelessness, the fact remains that it can happen to anyone during the most routine activities.

Obviously, the best way to deal with man overboard is PREVENTION. The following things should be checked by the captain anti crew before leaving any dock and while underway .

1. Check P.F.D. ‘s
2. Close all lifelines before leaving dock.
3. Be sure the deck, bulkheads, lifelines and all steps are clean.
Immediately clean all oil and wet dirt.
4. Be sure all crew's hands are clean. (Don't use oil based suntan lotions.)
5. Try to encourage all passengers to be seated.
6 . Under no circumstances should anyone (crew included) hang over the sides or stand on the side rails and step while the boat is underway.
7 . Captain and crew should warn the passengers of upcoming wakes so they can brace themselves . (Don't forget that most large boats cause a two or three-part wake)
8 . No one should board or unboard unless the boat is stopped and secured to the dock.
9 . The captain and crew should lend a hand to passengers when boarding and unboarding.
10 . The captains should keep their eyes on the water and the crew should keep their eyes on the passengers .



In the event of a man overboard situation, the following actions should be taken, in this order.

1. Crewman should yell , "MAN OVERBOARD OFF. . . . . . . .BEAM'' . This tells the captain which direction to turn.

CREW -
a. Keep the victim in sight
b. Throw life ring overboard in direction of victim. (Be sure that it is not attached to boat)
c. Leave a "trash trail" - throw cushions, hats, etc. overboard to mark spot.
d. Have one passenger pointing at the victim so the captain will have a reference point.
a. Keep all passengers seated. Their only job should be to keep the victim in sight.
d. Give loud easily understood directions to captain back to victim; i.e. "TURN 30 DEGREES TO PORT, REDUCE SPEED, ETC "
e. Find the wind - the approach must be made bow and beam into the wind. Guide the captain.
f. Once the victim has retrieved the life ring, begin hauling him/her up to the boat.
g. UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY - NEVER JUMP INTO THE WATER TO HELP VICTIM - WE DON’T NEED TWO MEN OVERBOARD ! !
h. Help victim back onto boat using all means available; ladder, boat hook, etc.
i. BE PREPARED TO BEGIN C. P .R. IF NECESSARY .

CAPTAIN.
a. Turn boat approximately 60 degrees towards the direction the victim fell overboard. I.E. If they fell off the starboard side, turn to starboard. (This is to insure that you turn your stern away from the victim and not over them.) .
b. Immediately check your compass. You will need to calculate a reciprocal course for retrieval.
c. Immediately calf U.S. Coast Guard Ch#16 to inform them of situation and request they advise all boaters to stay out of emergency area.
d. Listen to instructions of crew to return to victim.
e. Make final rescue approach INTO THE WIND.
f. TAKE BOAT OUT OF GEAR AND DRIFT THE FINAL 20 YARDS.
g. NEVER APPROACH THE VITCIM IN REVERSE.
h. Stay at the helm until the victim is alongside, then assist in bringing back on board.
i . Determine extent of medical emergency needs and advise the Coast Guard. Be detailed as to condition of victim. Determine the closest dock and have the ambulance meet you there.

NOTE: THE RESCUE OF A MAN OVERBOARD IS IN THE HANDS OF THE CAPTAIN AND CREW . YOUR QUICK AND DECISIVE ACTIONS CAN MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LI FE AND DEATH . KNOW WHAT SHOULD BE DONE BEFORE YOU HAVE TO DO IT!

Email us: rcozen@marine-surveyor.com

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Captain Rob Cozen
Master Marine Surveyor
P.O. Box 220
Somers Point, NJ 08244
Office: (609) 926-4949 - Cell: (609) 335-1500
(Outside South Jersey) (800) 64SURVEY - Toll Free!

copyright 1997, Captain Rob Cozen, all rights reserved.