Each ship should have a contingency plan in the event that someone falls overboard. The plan should take into account the particular characteristics of the ship, the life-saving equipment available and the size of the crew.
The action taken if the bridge watchkeeping officer observes someone falling from the main deck into the sea. This would include:
- Executing a Williamson turn or other ship’s turn as appropriate;( wheel hard over to the side of casuality)
- Sounding the general or emergency squad alarm;
- Announcing the type of emergency over the public address system so that the rescue boat can be prepared;
- Assigning a person to the wheel and posting lookouts;
- Radar “marking” of the man overboard position;
- Initiating any communication such as a “Pan Pan Pan” message; and
- Positioning the ship to make a lee and launching the rescue boat.
- It should be remembered that it may take the master a few minutes to reach the bridge before he can take over the operation and that some decisions need to be taken before he reaches the bridge.
- The procedure on how to pull a person from the sea into a boat should, when possible, be practised during periods when a ship is at anchor.
In other words, We can Summarize Actions as follow :-
- Helm hard over on the side which the man has fallen.
- Release lifebuoy with smoke signal.
- Press GPS MOB button.
- Sound emergency alarm.
- Main engines for immediate manoeuvring.
- Inform master.
- Post lookouts.
- Sound emergency signal “O” on fog signal. Broadcast by VHF to all vessels in the vicinity. Hoist ICS flag “O”.
- Turn out rescue boat- muster crew and standby.
- Continuous monitoring of vessels position on chart.
- Rescue the man overboard and put the person in Thermal protective Aid (TPA) to avoid extra body heat loss.
- Start the first aid as required.
- Update weather reports.
- Log book entries.