you now have two people in the water, and,
potentially, two victims at risk. Calling mayday, keeping the victim next to the boat, and
waiting for assistance may be a more prudent
course of action.
Each time you go out, make an MOB briefing part of your departure routine. Show
people where life jackets are stowed. Better
yet, encourage your crew to wear them. Most
drownings occur quickly. If your crew are
wearing life jackets when they go in the water,
they’ll stay alive longer and you will have a
much better chance to save them.
Stress the necessity that someone keep
an eye on an MOB victim at all times, point
out throwing devices and recovery gear, show
how they work, and explain challenges such
as plunging stern platforms and rolling hard
chines. Show crew where the radio is and
how to broadcast a mayday. Also, before you
set out with your crew for the day, identify
a second-in-command (the person with the
most skill other than you) who can take control in case you’re the victim. The enemy of a
successful rescue is confusion. There should
be less of it if the skipper has set the stage.
EXPERIENCE AT WORK FOR YOU
TO LEARN MORE or get training, refer to the following sources:
■ US POWERBOATING ( www.uspowerboating.com)
■ U.S. Coast Guard Boat Crew Seamanship Manual
(Chap. 16), visit this article at www.BoatUS.com/Magazine
■ U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary ( www.cgaux.org)
■ U.S. Power Squadrons ( www.usps.org)
■ US SAILING Safety At Sea Seminars
■ Suddenly Alone seminars ( www.cruisingclub.org)
■ US SAILING ( www.ussailing.org)
■ Test results from the BoatU.S Foundation for Safety and Clean Water:
MOB Report and Gear Test by John Rousmaniere. www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/
Grip: Hands to wrists
give better support
when lifting or helping
YOUR “A” TEAM
This article was created with the help of an elite team of safety experts working with our
BoatU.S. Magazine editors and the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety:
Tom Neale, award-winning author and columnist has run and maintained boats for 60 years,
lived aboard for 30, and served in editorial positions with a variety of marine publications. Leader
of our BoatU.S. Magazine “Ask The Experts” tech team, technical editor for Soundings magazine,
and author of hundreds of articles on critical topics including boat handling and seamanship.
Chuck Hawley, vice president of West Marine for the past 30 years, mostly working directly
with product development and best practices. Chairman of the US SAILING Safety At Sea
Committee, and official moderator of their national SAS Seminars; National Boating Safety
Advisory Council member; former ABYC Tech Board member.
Jeff Wheeler, Deputy Chief, Coast Guard Office of Boat Forces. Responsible for management,
oversight, and development of Coast Guard boat-readiness and boat/crew training programs.
Served at field commands throughout the U.S. performing search-and-rescue missions.
— THE EDITORS
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