A recovery operation may be conducted without causing undue hazard to the ship and the ship’s crew, taking into account, but not limited to:
- Maneuverability of the ship;
- Freeboard of the ship;
- Points on the ship to which casualties may be recovered;
- Characteristics and limitations of equipment intended to be used for recovery operations;
- Available crew and personal protective equipment (PPE);
- Wind force, direction and spray;
- Significant wave height (Hs);
- Period of waves;
- Swell; and
- Safety of navigation.
The circumstances you find when you arrive at the scene will differ from incident to incident; but general planning can, and should, be done.
In planning how best to bring people aboard your ship, you should consider:
- Who will be required for the recovery process?
- Who will manage the ship in the meantime?
- What can be done to help people prior to recovery?
- The means of recovery available to you;
- Where on the ship the survivors should be taken after recovery;
- How they will be looked after once they are aboard; and
- How you will keep your own crew and passengers informed of what’s going on.
Effective recovery of survivors will only occur through planning and preparation:
- Have a plan;
- Make sure everyone understands the plan and their own place in it;
- Be prepared; and
- Have everyone ready, with all the equipment they need, before commencing the recovery operation.
You may not have much time to think about details when the emergency happens; but if you have thought about your capabilities beforehand and you have trained to use them effectively. In short, if you are prepared. You will not need much time.
Remember that plans are of no use unless you know how to put them into effect. This requires training, and the testing of both plans and training by exercise
Points to pounder :
Recovery operations should be conducted at a position clear of the ship’s propellers and, as far as practicable, within the ship’s parallel mid-body section.
If carried, dedicated recovery equipment should be clearly marked with the maximum number of persons it can accommodate, based on a weight of 82.5 kg per person.
As per SOLAS III “Regulation 17-1 Recovery of persons from the water”
All ships shall have ship-specific plans and procedures for recovery of persons from the water, taking into account the guidelines developed by the Organization. The plans and procedures shall identify the equipment intended to be used for recovery purposes and measures to be taken to minimize the risk to shipboard personnel involved in recovery operations. Ships constructed before 1 July 2014 shall comply with this requirement by the first periodical or renewal safety equipment survey of the ship to be carried out after 1 July 2014 whichever comes first.