When boating, no one prays for a bad scenario to occur but they may show up sometimes.
Most of the times it may be a case of someone falling overboard.
What should you always do when someone falls overboard is an important skill to have when a man overboard issue occurs.
When done properly and promptly, it could save the life of the person that fell out of the boat.
Any delay in saving someone that falls into a river when boating may result in a loss of life.
This is one of the worst nightmares of a boat operator.
It can be caused by over speeding, boat vibrating when accelerating or any other reason.
A passenger who dies from an overboard situation brings a bad image to a boating or travel company.
That is why it is very important to know what you should do when someone falls overboard.
What Should You Do When Someone Falls Overboard
1) Stop The Boat
What to do first when someone falls overboard is to make sure that you stop the boat from moving farther from the victim that fell into water.
If you have moved farther away from the victim before noticing that someone has fallen from the boat, make sure that you move back to where the person is in the water.
This will help save the life of the person especially when the water is very cold.
When the water is very cold, someone easily suffers from hypothermia which can lead to the failure of major organs of the body easily.
When hypothermia starts in the body of the victim, the internal temperature of the body decreases and this leads to death.
So what you should do when someone falls overboard from a boat is to first stop the boat so as to rescue the person.
2) Locate Where The Person Is
After you have stopped the boat on sighting that someone has fallen overboard, the next thing is to locate the person.
When you locate the person, make sure that you drive the boat a bit closer to where the person is.
This will make it easy for the person to be pulled out of water.
When moving closer to the person overboard, make sure that the person is not in the direction of the boat propeller.
This could easily cause damage to the person when they get in contact with the boat propeller.
That is why you should stop the engine of the boat when you are close to the person that fell overboard.
3) Throw In a Life Jacket
The next step on what you should do when someone falls overboard is to make sure that the person is wearing a personal floatation device.
This is mostly a life jacket worn by the boat passengers.
A personal floatation device keeps someone afloat when inside water.
This helps in keeping a person from drowning during a man overboard situation.
Most of the times someone that knows how to swim will easily swim back to the location of the boat.
But when it comes to someone that does not know how to swim, the reverse is the case.
Inability to swim during man overboard situations is the highest reason why people drown easily.
But when they are wearing a personal floatation device, they will be afloat until they are rescued by the rescue team.
That is why it is very important to make sure that you wear a PFD like a life jacket anytime you are in a boat.
It will save you from situations like drowning which causes most fatalities during a boat emergency.
4) Throw In a Life Ring
To safely bring an overboard person back into the boat, you must do it in a safe way.
This is done in a way that does not splash water into the face or eyes of the overboard victim or get injured from running propeller in worse cases .
That is why you need to off the boat engine so that the propeller does not become harmful.
Throw in the life ring in the direction of the person in the water.
After the life ring has been thrown into the water, let the person grab it.
If the person in the water has grabbed the life ring, those in the boat should gently drag the life ring towards the boat.
This will also bring the person who fell overboard closer to the boat.
From there, the person can get back into the boat.
5) Send In Rescue Team Into The Water
Another thing on what you should do when someone falls overboard is to send a rescue team into the water.
In some situations, an overboard situation may not be quickly seen.
This keeps the person out in the water for too long.
Due to this, the person may try to swim to a closer shore while waiting for help to show up.
This is very frequent when a boat sinks due to one problem or the other.
In the process of the person trying to swim to a closer shore, weakness and tiredness might set in.
This is even worse if the water is very cold.
This leads to situations of being affected by hypothermia which is close to killing the victim.
When the rescue team arrives, they should swim into the water and rescue the person.
This is because the person will already be extremely tired due to attempts of trying to swim to the closest shore.
6) Pull The Person Out Of Water
The next thing to do when someone falls overboard is to make sure that the person is taken into the boat.
Now that the person is close to the boat, a helping hand should be given to make sure that the person gets into the boat.
Once the person gets back into the boat, the person should be kept in a stable position.
From there, examinations should be made on the body of the person in case the person has sustained an injury or dislocation.
7) Apply First Aid Treatment
Now that the person that fell overboard has been brought into the boat, it is important to administer a first aid treatment to the person.
To do this the right way, a close examination of the person is very necessary.
In the examination of the person, make sure that you check for dislocations and also check for any open wound.
If there is any, make sure that the appropriate treatment is administered.
Also make sure that you change the wet clothes to a dry one to keep the person warm.
After the first aid has been administered, make sure that the person is kept in a place that is quiet and free from distractions.
This is to make sure that they recover well from the bad situation of falling out of the boat.
What To Do If You Fall Overboard
When there is a man overboard issue, the boat operator and the rescue team have a lot of work to do.
But the thing is that it is not just the boat operator and the rescue team that have a part to play here.
The person who fell overboard also has a part to play too.
That is by raising alarm so that people will know that someone has fallen off the boat.
This will help people call the attention of the boat operator and the rescue team fast.
So if you fall overboard while in a boat, make sure that you do the following;
- raise an alarm to signal other members of the boat that you have fallen into the water
- make sure that you still wear your life jacket securely
- when the life ring is thrown into the boat to save you, make sure you hold it well while you are drawn closer to the boat.
- do not move too close to the propeller of the boat to avoid getting hurt by the boat propeller
As a boat operator, what should you always do when someone falls overboard is very important skill to have so as to protect the life of the person that fell overboard.
It should be done correctly and timely.
This will help save the victim from complicated casualties due to a man overboard situation.
That is why the knowledge of what to do when someone falls overboard is very important.
Have a nice boating experience ahead.