If the worst happens and a crew member goes overboard, what are you going to do?
Best to have practiced in advance to get them on board. That's exactly what we did with Bernard Mitchell last week while we were training with him.
And practicing in advance gives two great learning outcomes - one is how to actually do it. The other is just how hard it is to get the boat back to the right place by the crew in the water, to hold the boat steady nearby and to get a wet and exhausted person back on board.
Here are the 'Crew Overboard - Steps for Crew Rescue' notes that the Can Opener recorded - undiluted wisdom straight from the snout of the awesome teaching genius that is Bernard:
Steps for Crew Rescue -
How to Get 'Em Back on Board
- point - one person continuously pointing at crew in water
- stop - heave-to
- toss Dan buoy over
- check for lines overboard
- start engine
- press MOB button on VHF/GPS to send distress signal
- sailing/reaching backwards and forwards in front of crew in water (no more than 75 yards away) while equipment to pick them is readied (on the side you are going pick them up on)
- approach them at 40-60 degree angle – don’t gybe, always tack
- lasso crew and attach them, squished up against side of boat
- then use hoisting equipment to get them on board
'TO DO': When your boat is at its berth, practice using your hoisting equipment to lift various team members from a prone position on the dock… up into the boat.
The more we practice in advance, the better prepared we'll be. We have a 'skills & drills' list for the team - this is top of the list.
Anything else we should add to the 'Steps for Crew Rescue' list? How often have you practiced Crew Overboard procedure this season? We know we haven't practiced nearly enough.
(transcribed by the Can Opener)