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Man Overboard Recovery: The Crash Stop or Quick Stop

ais beacons family largeCruising yachts are mostly sailed by couples and are essentially short handed when it comes to making vigorous sailing maneuvers. When a crew member goes overboard it is always at the worst possible time and completely unexpected which means that the reaction time to start the correct maneuver is usually not good. 

The man overboard recovery method that we prefer, being shorthanded is called the "Crash Stop" or "Qiuck Stop". It works in almost all situations and requires only one crew member and no sail trimming. 

 

The MOB Recovery Maneuver Sequence 

catamaran man overboard

• MOB – head up to beam reach and go two to three boat lengths

• Tack the boat without touching the sheets

• Once the jib is back winded turn the helm all the way back as if you were trying to get back on the tack you were originally on.

• You will be in the hove-to position, which means that the pressure in the jib will not allow you to tack back and the rudder and jib will cancel each other out and you will be stalled.

• Lock the wheel hard over so that you can leave the helm and attend to getting the MOB gear deployed – Once in the hove-to position, the boat will stay like this until you decide to either release the jib sheet, straighten the wheel and start sailing again or alternatively, Jibe out of it using the rudder

• At this stage you can ease or trim the main to ensure you remain in hove-to position. Note that on most boats all that needs to be done is to release the main sheet and let the sail luff. Once in the hove-to position, everything slows down and allows you to gather your wits to deal with the problem.

• At this stage you will be slowly crabbing back towards your MOB at under a knot.

• You can now elect to start the engines to maneuver the boat to the MOB or if you are going towards him you can heave a line to him.

• If you start the engines, always remember you need to ensure that the boat's propeller does not injure the MOB.

• Retrieve your MOB, severely castigate him for his carelessness and then treat with Rum.

One person can do this entire maneuver. This manuever stops the boat close to the MOB, which is good for morale and allows you to speak to them. This manuever can be also be used for reefing, or in heavy weather or just stopping for lunch,

Comments (2)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

How about a woman overboard?
But seriously, I love this technique definitely more practical than figure 8 etc.

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Hi! This is a great article, but I think it is missing a huge consideration: while many of the methods you wrote about in this article can be performed decently by experienced boaters (though not always), the issue I have found in researching...

Hi! This is a great article, but I think it is missing a huge consideration: while many of the methods you wrote about in this article can be performed decently by experienced boaters (though not always), the issue I have found in researching this topic is that it is often the captain (ie the most experienced person on the boat) who ends up falling overboard. This leaves people who have not trained in rescue, or even in operating a boat to save the victim! To address this issue, I have recently patented a device to help make overboard rescue faster and more reliable than traditional methods, regardless of the experience of the boat operator.

The device I patented is called Rescu Swim'r, and it works as a rudder and helps vector the life ring safely to the overboard passenger. It can be easily attached to any Type IV PFD. In trials WITHOUT the device it took an average of 9min 51sec for people to get a PFD to the man overboard, but WITH Rescu Swim'r it took the same group of people on average 1min 14sec. Huge difference! Time saved not only increases the chance of survival of the man overboard, but also increases the chance that they'll still have control of their limbs (before cold-water shock sets in) and be able to actually help themselves re-board the boat.

Traditional rescue methods just don't save people fast enough, Rescu Swim'r uses simple physics to solve that problem. Check out the website (rescuswimr.com) for more info; we made videos and have trial footage to show how Rescu Swim'r works.

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