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News - 15/12/14

Advice on Man Overboard incidents

The reason we go boating is to have fun; enjoying the freedom and exhilaration that getting out on the water provides is always the main aim. However, as with any sport, sailing and boating is not without its risks and it pays to be prepared. This brings us on to Man Overboard (MOB).

Recently, whilst disembarking from a small tender on the River Medina a man fell into the water between his dinghy and a pontoon that was not connected to the shore. He was in the water for around 15-20 minutes before managing to raise the attention of a member of the public who succeeded in assisting him from the water. The casualty had not been wearing a lifejacket and was wearing boots that weighed him down in the water.

We would like to share with you the lessons learnt from this incident.

Consider utilising the harbour water taxi’s services; otherwise, if using your own tender, go out on the water in a pair if possible. Be aware, at this time of year the water temperature is fast approaching single digits and survival time is measured in minutes rather than hours. Wear a lifejacket at all times and ensure that your tender is secured fore and aft before embarking or disembarking. Make a mental note of the nearest emergency ladder on the pontoon. Is there a ladder rigged on the stern of your vessel? Consider in advance what would you do if you fell overboard.

More information on MOB
The accepted RYA Yachtmaster™ crew drill in the event of a Man Overboard, whether under power or sail, and advice on MOB recovery, is covered in detail on the RYA’s website.