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The Manoeuvres

Man Overboard

Whenever a crew member falls overboard, the following actions should be executed immediately.

  • Cry ‘man over board’.
  • Throw a life belt or similar buoyant object.
  • If the victim is unconscious and bas no lifejacket, a second person should spring overboard to give assistance.
  • The victim should be kept in sight at all times.
  • Following the manoeuvre described below, bring the boat alongside the person in the water.
  • Haul the victim aboard over the stern.


Man Overboard Manoeuvre

The final part of the manoeuvre is executed as for picking up a mooring. If the accident occurs when sailing to windward, the boat must be brought down to leeward of the victim by one of two methods.

Continue to windward for 5 boat lengths before bearing away down wind. Gybe when the victim is approximately ‘off the beam’ and without haste, come round to a close hauled tack before luffing to wind.

In strong winds, gybing may be considered risky. In this case, directly bear away and sail on a broad reach for 10-20 boat lengths then luff to wind, come about, and return on a broad reach to lee of the victim. The manoeuvre is completed as before. This second method is known as a ‘figure of 8’ manoeuvre.

These manoeuvres are normally practised using a floating object as a ‘victim’ and should be mastered in all wind conditions.

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