BOATsmart! Canada
Knowledge Base

Module 07 - Emergency Preparedness

Rescuing a Person Overboard

If one of your passengers (guests) has fallen overboard, immediately reduce your speed and turn around. Then perform the following:

STEP 1:
Immediately throw the person a brightly-coloured, buoyant item such as a life ring or life jacket- this will keep them afloat and increase their visibility in the water.
STEP 2:
Assign another passenger (guest) to keep watch of the person overboard and continuously point to their location in the water.
STEP 3:
Maneuver your boat so that your bow is facing into the wind (downwind from the person in the water) - this way the person overboard will drift towards your boat.
STEP 4:
Shut down the engine to ensure the person overboard won’t be injured by your boat’s propeller, and use one of the technique below to rescue the victim:

 

RESCUE TECHNIQUES

  • Use a reaching assist to pull the victim to the side of the boat and assist them back into the boat - keep your body weight low in the boat to maintain balance.
  • Throw the person a buoyant heaving line and pull the person back into the boat. Throw the line so that it lands behind the person in the water, then slowly pull the line forward so they can grab hold.
  • Throw the victim a life ring which is secured to the boat. Throw the ring so that it lands behind the person in the water, then slowly pull the ring forward so they can grab hold, and pull them back into the boat.

Never jump into the water to rescue a person overboard. If they are panicking and thrashing in the water, they could pull you under.

 

 

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