The most effective way of dealing with this terrible hazard is to have a positive policy on safety harnesses so as to ensure that it never happens at all. Every crew member should be issued with his own equipment, so that it can be adjusted to size before it is needed. It should then be worn and used as a matter of course at any time when cither you, or any of your crew, might feel it necessary. If you are looking for guidance as to when this might be, the following may prove helpful:
• If you are wondering whether or not to clip on, do it.
• When you are sailing in open water and conditions are such that you would consider reefing the mainsail, clip on at any time you leave the cockpit.
• In gale or near-gale conditions when a knock-down seems even a remote possibility, everyone on deck or in the cockpit should be clipped on.
• Clip on when approaching an area of tidal disturbance. It may be worse than you expect.
If, having taken all these precautions, you do lose someone, man-overboard recovery is a two-stage operation. The first part is to bring the boat close to the casualty and keep her there for long enough to be able successfully to execute the second, which is assisting him back on board.
Whatever is happening, the most vital aspect of phase one is never to lose eye contact with the casualty. As soon as he goes over, throw lifebuoy and danbuoy after him, then designate someone to watch him continuously even if he is carrying a radio homing device. Even a few seconds' slackness can result in your crew member being lost to view among the waves, quite possibly for ever. On a short-handed cruiser, this requirement can be a tall order, but none the less it must be followed. If you arc left alone on board, you will have to do your best, but never forget the danger of losing touch.
There are two basic systems for bringing a boat to rest close by, or even alongside, a crew member in the water. Which you choose will depend on your yacht's characteristics, the sea conditions, and how you rate your own competence.
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Lets start by identifying what exactly certain boats are. Sometimes the terminology can get lost on beginners, so well look at some of the most common boats and what theyre called. These boats are exactly what the name implies. They are meant to be used for fishing. Most fishing boats are powered by outboard motors, and many also have a trolling motor mounted on the bow. Bass boats can be made of aluminium or fibreglass.