What should you do if a crew member falls overboard?

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2019 | Admiralty & Maritime Law

When you work on a boat in Louisiana, you have to look out for many hazards. One dangerous situation you might encounter is a man overboard. If this happens, it is important to know what to do.

When one of your crew members falls overboard, it is important to take action immediately. Marine Insight says you should yell “man overboard” as soon as you realize someone has fallen off the ship. Additionally, you should say whether your crew member fell off the port or starboard side, as well as use the whistle to let the rest of the crew know what happened. It is also a good idea to use the public address system to ensure everyone understands the situation. Additionally, you may want to put extra people on lookout.

Once a crew member falls overboard, he or she may encounter many hazards. Even if a person is a good swimmer, he or she might drown if the water is rough. Bad weather may also make it difficult for a crew member to keep his or her head above water. Additionally, the overboard crew member might get hypothermia if the water is cold. Hypothermia can be deadly because a person may lose consciousness if he or she is in 41 degree water for at least 15 minutes. For all of these reasons, it is important to rescue an overboard crew member as soon as possible.

Once the rest of the crew knows about the man overboard, it is important to send out a rescue boat. This rescue boat should typically have enough crew members on board to perform the rescue quickly and effectively. Sometimes the person who fell overboard may need first aid. If this is the case, you should generally make sure this person receives care as soon as possible.

This information is general in nature. It should not be used in place of legal advice.

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