ALTERNATIVES FOR APPROACHING VICTIM
Wind/current over the bow
Wind/current over the stern
In most cases,
it is much safer
to approach into
1. Slow the boat and reduce wake
as you approach.
2. Positioning the boat with the
victim on the recovery side; stop
headway with a short, backing
down burst, put engines in
neutral, and make recovery.
Use this alternative
only if you cannot
approach into the
1. Maneuver into position upwind
and up current of the victim,
place the engine in neutral.
2. SLOWLY drift down to the
victim, controlling the boat to
avoid drifting over him, and
LIFESLING, TOWLINE, OR SKI-ROPE RETRIEVAL
While making the turn,
keep deploying the full
length of the Lifesling.
The Lifesling will
surround the MOB as the
boat circles the victim.
Turn rudder right full
and deploy Lifesling.
Position the vessel abeam
of the MOB and head into
the prevailing wind or sea.
The MOB grabs the Lifesling and secures
it under his arms. An onboard crew member
pulls in the Lifesling and the MOB.
the victim’s odds significantly ( www.BoatUS.
Physical condition of victim: Excess
weight, poor swimming ability, panic, lack
of arm strength, injury, hypothermia, and
other factors make retrieval extremely challenging. The person in the boat may need
special equipment or assistance to get the
Skill, size, and ability of person(s)
aboard: One person aboard a high-freeboard
boat may find it almost impossible to get a
victim aboard, particularly if either person
isn’t in good physical condition, or if the
larger and/or more skilled person is in the
water. Think about an alternative, such as a
Lifesling, or another system that could work
on your particular boat.
Visibility: Take a look around. If visibility is
poor, slow down and make sure you know
where the victim is. If an approaching fog
bank or squall could reduce visibility soon,
get back to the victim before you lose sight
Other boats: If you’re in a rough inlet with
many boats racing past, position your boat to
protect the victim and begin visual warning
signaling. In some cases, it may be prudent
to wait for help before you begin retrieval.
One example would be if you were alone on
board and another boat nearby with strong
experienced swimmers and retrieval gear
responded to your distress call and was on
their way to the scene.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
If you want to save an MOB victim, the time
to start is now. Begin planning and practicing
what you’d need to do in your circumstances
in your boat. This helps generate intuitive,
Practice MOB techniques by throwing a
fender with a bucket attached into the water.
Return to it, approach it, and get it aboard
while being extremely careful that you keep
the props away from the “victim.”
The best equipment may be useless
unless you know how to deploy it without
thinking. For example, if you have a Lifesling
with tackle, on a calm day, near shore, prac-
tice putting a person in the water, rig it, and
use it. Also, practice with the “victim” pre-
tending helplessness. The “victim” should be
wearing a life jacket.
Practicing may teach you that the best
you can do is to stabilize the victim safely
alongside and call the Coast Guard for help