Recovering Someone Who Falls Overboard

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If someone falls overboard, immediately:

  • sound the alarm, turn bow in the direction of the person overboard, stop engines, throw a buoyant object to assist the person and mark the position.

  • assign one person to constantly keep the person in the water in sight.

  • manoeuvre the vessel carefully to pick the person up.

  • be careful when pulling the person in – many would-be rescuers have been dragged into the water by the person in distress.

In addition to the Lifesling method of recovery, there are two other methods for rescuing a person from the water. The Anderson or One Turn method is the fastest, but it requires a very skilful skipper and a vessel with a tight turning circle. The Williamson Turn is slower but easier. The Williamson Turn is recommended if there is danger of losing sight of the person in the water.

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