Sailing isn’t a hugely dangerous sport, and you don’t want to scare your crew, but it pays to discuss Man Overboard. If you have a regular drill in place, then you could buy yourself valuable time should the unthinkable ever happen.
This is the accepted RYA Yachtmaster™ crew drill in the event of a Man Overboard:
- Shout ‘man overboard’ to alert the crew.
- Press the MOB button on the GPS.
- Throw a life buoy and dan buoy to the MOB. Mark the MOB with a buoyant smoke flare.
- Allocate a crewmember to point at the MOB in the water.
- Send a DSC distress alert and a Mayday.
- Keep pointing; don’t lose sight of the MOB.
- If the motor has been started,
- Prepare a throwing line.
- The skipper will bring the boat alongside the MOB, with the boat pointing into the wind and the propeller stopped.
- Get a line around the MOB and get them aboard.
Here is a short animation to show the figure of 8 method for MOB recovery.