Man Overboard Situation on Ships: Prevention and Rescue Protocols

Man Overboard Situation on Ships: Getting carried away is possible. Although it’s best to concentrate on preventing it from occurring, understanding how to carry out a man overboard (MOB) protocol might be helpful. We can only live at sea for a limited period, thus being able to rescue someone from the water is crucial.

Why do individuals go too far? When operating overside, they risk slipping on a damp deck or losing their equilibrium. When there is a boat accident, individuals may fall into the water as a result of the impact from the collision.

Below are the actions you should do if someone on your boat goes overboard. To ensure you’re ready for anything, commit each one to memory and give it some practice.

What is hypothermia?

When the body is submerged in cold water for an extended time, the body experiences hypothermia, a condition that impairs normal metabolism and bodily processes.

A person submerged in 5 ĚŠ C water for 15 minutes will lose consciousness.

What causes man overboard accidents?

What causes man overboard accidents

Any maritime work environment, including the docks, a vessel in port, a vessel at sea, and especially an offshore drilling rig, can experience a “man overboard” incident at any time. Many factors can cause someone to go too far, such as:

  • Slippery decks
  • Trip hazards
  • Poor visibility
  • receiving a blow from something
  • Inadequate safety measures
  • Poor maintenance
  • Bad weather
  • Extreme wave swells
  • Inadequate safety training
  • Human error

Someone who has fallen overboard must be saved as soon as possible. The longer someone spends in the water, the greater the potential of drowning, hypothermia, tiredness, attacks by aggressive marine creatures, and becoming lost at sea. Falls onto a pier or other solid surface, or falls overboard as a result of a vessel running aground, can cause bone fractures, spinal injuries, brain injuries, and other trauma injuries.

When there is a man overboard emergency, prompt action is required.

Following a person’s overboard fall, the following steps must be followed right away in order to prevent tragedy:

  • Increasing public awareness of the emergency is the first step to take. When an accident is noticed, the person on board must sound the alarm by yelling, “Man overboard!” loudly and clearly enough to notify the other members of the crew.
  • To keep constant visual contact with the sufferer, they had to stay in situ.
  • Distinguishing flotation equipment from the victim is advised if they are sufficiently close. In order to make sure the vessel can locate the MOB in low-light conditions or the dark, a GPS marker needs to be launched.

Cruise Ship Anchors: What You Need to Know

The bridge crew sounds three blasts on the ship’s whistle, which is the letter O in morse code, as soon as they become aware of the emergency. This is the universal signal for a man overboard. To notify the crew, a MOB alarm will also be activated over the ship’s intercom system. A mayday signal is sent out and the “O” flag is raised, informing all nearby ships of the MOB emergency.

A captain can direct the Williamson, Anderson, Scharnov, or Loren turns, among other movements, to bring the ship back to the location where the victim fell overboard.

A lifeline or man overboard pole may be stretched, depending on the situation, to recover the person who fell overboard. The ship will send a dinghy to retrieve the victim if they are hurt or unconscious. The staff should be ready to offer assistance if needed.

Employers in the marine industry must keep a safe workplace, make sure staff members are properly trained to handle a MOB emergency, and keep specialist MOB rescue equipment on hand in order to reduce MOB incidences.

What to Do in the Event of a Man Overboard Situation

Types of Immersion Suits

The likelihood of preserving the lives of the fallen crew increases significantly with early and initial sightings. The following MOB actions are critical and need to be done right away in order to save the life of the person who has gone overboard.

  • Shout “Man Overboard on Starboard side/Portside”
  • Turn the wheel to the appropriate side (port or starboard) and switch from automatic to hand steering.
    Release the MOB marking from the bridge wing’s side where the MOB happened. This buoyant marker features a smoke signal that activates on its own and a light that ignites on its own.
  • To save the location of the victim for later use, press the MOB button on the GPS.
  • The whistle should sound “O” (three long blasts). This is to inform the crew and the master about the emergency.
  • Add the proper “O” flag to this.
  • Post the spare watch as soon as you can.
  • To tell everyone to report to their posts, sound the General Alarm on the ship’s whistle. This is to make sure that, even if the crew is unaware of the three extended blasts for MOB, they are still informed and can go to the muster stations to help with the person’s recovery.
  • After then, use the ship’s PA system to announce the MOB situation.
  • Notify the engine room that some maneuvering will be necessary.
  • Carry out the Williamsons turn (detailed below).
  • Put the VHF on Channel 16 and keep a close watch on the RADAR/ARPA.
  • Keep a log of everything that happens in the Bell book.
  • Obey the Chief’s instructions.
  • The Chief Mate should be in charge of making all decisions regarding the deck, including lowering the survival craft and boarding ladder
  • When it comes to bridge, the Third Mate should help the Master.
  • To alert ships nearby of the danger, the officer in control at the moment must transmit a “Urgency signal” via all communication systems.
  • Make sure you can see the lifebuoy (MOB marking).
  • To complete the rescue mission, there should be enough personnel on the rescue boat. A personal location beacon ought to be worn by all.
  • It is required that the rescue boat officer have a portable handheld VHF radio.
  • After the individual has been saved, the rescue boat and lifebuoy need to be picked up and hoisted back up near the ship.
  • If necessary, first assistance should be given right away.
  • The last MOB alarm to be issued must be canceled by sending out a “Urgency Signal.”
  • The Ship’s Logbook must contain the appropriate entries.
  • The MOB incident and every entry made in the ship’s logbook require an investigation by the master.
  • To prevent the person from getting too close to the propeller, the engines are not instantly halted. In order to keep the stern away from the casualty, the same applies while wheeling hard around to their side.

Screaming about the MOB as soon as the accident is realized is crucial to utilizing every labor source right away. Additionally, during the day, it is difficult to see people due to the glare. Therefore, in order to prevent fatalities in such situations, quick action is required.

Poop Decks: What They Are and Why They Matter

The lifebuoy contributes to the process of saving lives as well because the smoke signal is visible day or night. It’s also critical to retrieve the lifebuoy so that passing ships are not misled about the MOB’s state. When someone has previously been saved, they shouldn’t presume that a MOB is nearby and start aiding them. In addition, wearing a life jacket is mandatory when working, and in the event of an overboard incident, one should not exhaust themselves by panicking in the sea or thrashing about the waves.

The Ship’s Logbook entries are very important legally and should be filled out carefully. Always aim to achieve on your first try because even a small amount of delay can cost someone their life.

The Williamson Turn

  • Take note of the ship’s position

  • Put the wheel hard over to the side of the casualty

  • When the ship has altered course by about 60 degrees, put the wheel firmly over to the other side

  • The vessel should be wheeled on the midship when it is 20 degrees short of the reciprocal course

The Scharnow Turn

  • The rudder should be turned over hard in the direction of the person

  • Shift the rudder hard to the opposite side after deviating from the original course by about 240 degrees.

  • Put the rudder amidships when heading about 20 degrees short of the reciprocal course.

Anderson’s Turn

  • The engines should be stopped.

  • Turn the rudder in the direction of the person.

  • As soon as you are clear of the individual, go all the way ahead, still using the full rudder.

  • The engines should be backed 2/3 or full after deviating from the original course by about 240 degrees (about 2/3 of a full circle).

  • When the target point is 15 degrees off the bow, stop the engines. As necessary, ease the rudder and back the engines.

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