What Happens When Someone FALLS IN THE SEA

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When Someone FALLS IN THE SEA What actually happens when someone falls off a ship?  How do we rescue someone in that position? What more difficulties could they possibly face? Is it always possible to save someone who’s fallen from a ship?

What’s Is The Safest Place At Sea:

The answer, I’m afraid, isn’t very simple. It’s actually quite complicated. But I’ll try to break the answer down in such a way, that it is a lot easier for you to understand. There’s one thing we’re taught when on board; it’s very interesting so I’d like you to listen closely. The sea is extremely beautiful, the views are breathtaking. The types of views you get to see while at sea cannot be replicated anywhere else. But the safest place for you in such a landscape is your ship. If you’re not on a ship, you’re in a very dangerous place. The railing (or boundary) of a ship is the limit to how closely you can enjoy such beautiful views i.e., the clouds, and the sky. That limit saves you from the most dangerous situations i.e., in the water.

Because nobody’s your friend when you’re in the water. Even the fish won’t leave you alone, the fish you find so beautiful. Like stingrays. There are so many things in the sea. If I were to single out the hardest job while being on board a ship it would be rescuing someone people from drowning in the sea. Just imagine how difficult it is to rescue someone who has fallen off such a large running ship. How hard it is to stop such a large running ship. Also, steering the ship back to where the person (or people) has fallen. It’s, again, very difficult. And even when you manage to go back to save the drowning person/people, helping them out of the water, rescuing them, bring them back on board, again, is not simple.

Difficulties In Rescuing A Person In The Sea:-

A ship is always at the mercy of the sea, and the sea is at the mercy of the winds, and the overall weather. The faster the winds are, the more severe the weather is, the sea is going to be the same. That means high tides and waves, and like I’ve told you in my previous article , there are currents present, too. If someone falls into the sea, and you think it’s going to be easy to take your ship back to save them, you’re in the wrong. That’s because the waves, tides, and currents can take a person a person really far. Okay, imagine we manage to stop our ship, we take it back to exactly where the person fell, that person obviously isn’t going to be there. The waves, tides, and currents will already have taken them far away. It’s going to be very hard to spot them. Just imagine a large desert, sand going as far as the eye can see. Imagine I drop a pebble there, without bothering to tell you exactly where I dropped it. Will you be able to find that rock? It’s very, very difficult. The same goes for things/people lost at sea. When the waves and tides rise and fall, you’ll only be able to see part of a person’s body, and if they manage to stay afloat, you’ll only see their head. From afar, their head will only look like a speck in the sea. Okay, our eyes are trained, we have experience spotting buoys, fishing nets, and many other things at sea. But I can guarantee that in the case of a human being, you have to put all of that expertise to use, and even with that, it’s difficult to spot anyone in the water. I know of so many recent incidents where a person (or persons) was unable to be saved from drowning because it’s not very easy.

What Is The Expensive Commodity On A Ship:-

But now, look at the flip side, I’ve told you in plenty of my articles that the most expensive commodity on a ship: is something that has to be saved no matter what is human life. We often have to go to the last extent in order to save lives. That’s why we have certain procedures where we try our absolute hardest to make it possible to find the person (people) who’s fallen into the sea. I’ve seen many incidents where ships took several days to find the person who’d fallen over. Just imagine the amount of fuel, the amount of energy, and the amount of money we’re spending on this operation. Because lives are the most precious commodities on a ship. The most expensive thing on a ship. Now, what measures do we take to rescue someone who’s fallen from a ship and bring them back on board? There are two scenarios involved. One where we know exactly where a person fell and the other where we don’t know where a person fell.

What Are The Two Different Scenarios Of Man Overboard;-

Let’s talk about the first scenario because that sort of scenario is quicker and easier. Because we know exactly where the fallen person is. If someone has already spotted another person falling, their first responsibility is to start making noise. What that person has to say is “Man overboard!” several times (until they’re heard), to tell everyone that someone has fallen over. They also have to keep a close eye on the person who’s fallen over. That’s because if that person goes out of sight, looking for them is going to be harder. If someone hears the person (onboard) calling for assistance, it’s their responsibility to let them know they’ve heard them, and that they’re going to tell everyone about the situation. It’s the first person’s responsibility to alert the bridge about the “man overboard”. They also have to specify whether the person fell to the starboard side or the port side. Moving onwards, there’s a special buoy on the bridge wings, it weighs more than the rest of the buoys present on the ship. It weighs more because once it’s released into the water, it removes the MOB marker from its bracket, falling into the water with it.

What’s so special about a MOB marker is that when it lands in the water, not only does it give light signals, but orange smoke also starts coming out of it. Now you must be wondering what the orange smoke is for. The lifebuoy and the MOB marker are oranges as well. The sea is greenish-blue in color. The reflection from the sky makes it blue when in actuality it’s green. Its contrasting color, i.e., a color that can easily be spotted, happens to be orange. When the MOB marker releases smoke, you can easily see from a bird’s eye view where the fallen person is. And just like that, you can use your binoculars while on the ship to see where the orange smoke is coming from.

What We Do When The Exact Position Of Man Is Overboard:-

Its second advantage is- like I told you earlier, waves, tides, and currents can drag a person far away from their initial position. Of course, the drift rate won’t be the same, but the lifebuoy’s, the light’s, and the fallen person’s drift rate will be similar. That gives us a fair idea that alright, this lifebuoy is drifting in so and so direction which means that the person was probably swept off in the same direction. And definitely, the human body is larger than that of a lifebuoy, and its drift rate is faster too, which gives us more insight into which direction the waves took the fallen person. The left side or the right, i.e., the port and starboard. In fact, when we’re carrying out a rescue operation we don’t use the word port or starboard, we take bearings, e.g., 020, 030, 050, 180, etc. After this, the duty officer makes it back to the bridge and starts transmitting the man-overboard signal to other ships. “Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!” All ships! All ships. All ships! This is the Dutch coast guard. Relay message! Man overboard. In position [unclear].”

The person who alerts the bridge about the man overboard activates the emergency alarm as well. The ship’s captain will also start calling the bridge. And once he hears through his walkie-talkie, and on the PA (public address system) that a man has fallen overboard, the captain will head over to the bridge. Now, the alarm’s already activated. The captain is also at the bridge, the duty officer is also present at the bridge, and the AB (able seaman) is there as well. The buoy has already been released into the water, and whether the captain makes it to the bridge or not, it’s the duty officer’s job to begin the MOB maneuver.

Capture

Why Are The Mob Markers, Life Jackets, And Buoys All Orange Colored?

There are normally 3-4 types of maneuvers to locate people overboard. The most commonly used one is the Williamson Turn. What this does is; imagine a person has fallen over to the starboard side, or the right side of the ship, and we start turning the ship in that same direction. The reason behind this is; there’s a stark difference between cars and ships. This is pretty interesting, so listen closely. Now, a car is usually either an all-wheel drive, a four-wheel drive, or a front-wheel drive. Half-wheel drives aren’t as common anymore. What this means is when you turn a car’s steering wheel, the front wheels turn left or right. It’s the complete opposite when it comes to ships.

There’s something on a ship called a pivot point. The ship moves around that point. It can be found in the forward, and the aft. Usually, it starts in the middle, towards the forward. If you turn the ship away from where the man overboard is, the ship’s propellor, a large fan at its back, that sucks in all sorts of water, will not harm the person. If you think heading in the opposite direction is alright consider the person dead. They won’t stand a chance against the propellor. That isn’t what we do. When a ship turns 60 degrees away from its original course, you give it a counter helm. That’s when you bring a ship back in the opposite direction. When the heading is 20 degrees short of the reverse course, the rudder is brought to the midship position, the ship is eased back on track. That way, the ship returns to its original course line. Then before reaching the man overboard, the ship’s engine is stopped, so that the ship stops exactly where it was when the person fell.

How Do We Figure Out That Position?

The sea is the sea, with no one for miles around. As I said, it’s hard to spot a single person at sea. There’s a device called the GPS (global position system), and when it’s installed in a ship, it has a specific button called the MOB button. It’s found on the ECDIS, GPS, and radars as well. You quickly press that button so that it records the position of the man overboard. It then guides you in that direction. The ships I recently sailed on were fairly new, they made things like this easier. You press the MOB button, engage auto-steering and the ship automatically turns and heads over to where the person fell overboard. Whether you’ll find the person there or not, there’s no 99% guarantee about that. But the previously dropped man overboard buoy and market are already there. The smoke signals can be seen during the day their light can be seen at night, which gives you an idea about where the person drifted off to.

If the man overboard has a life jacket on, (although the chances of that happening are negligible) what it does is it has its own light, and that helps with visibility at night. The life jacket is orange during the day, and during the day, since it’s retro-reflective, it reflects light, which also makes it visible during the daytime. If you’re lucky enough to find the man overboard, there are 2-3 more procedures adopted to rescue them. If the weather is alright, with no swells, no strong winds, only sea currents present, the best solution is to lower the ship’s gangway, tie a net to it; throw another lifebuoy towards the man overboard, with a rope attached. Then you bring the person closer to the gangway and help them up the ship. If the weather is bad, you can’t risk bringing the ship close to the man overboard.

Action By Captain & Dutty Officer:

A captain has to decide this depending on the circumstances. That is a highly crucial decision for a captain to make. That’s when a rescue boat is engaged, the crew starts it and heads over to where the man overboard is supposed to be, they help the person onto the boat, then the boat is brought back to the ship and lifted back onto it. Once the rescue boat is on the ship, consider the man overboard rescued. In the meantime, let me tell you that as for the MOB signal previously broadcasted to alert other ships, the ships nearby ask you for updates. They ask you if you still need help.

They ask you about your current position. If you like this article so far, do like it, share it, and subscribe to the channel for more awesome content. They will try to get all sorts of information to try to help you. If there’s a coast station nearby like the UK has one, Pakistan and India, too. Canada has its own too. Most nations do. The coast station engages its boats in an attempt to rescue the man overboard. Now, this is one story.

Retrieve A Person From Water

Methods To Retrieve A Person From Water:-

Now, let’s move on to another interesting scenario, the hardest scenario of them all. The first one I talked about isn’t easy either, though. Nonetheless, this second scenario is the hardest because you simply cannot locate the man overboard. Again, I’ve seen recent cases; on the UK’s coast, America’s coast, and Taiwan’s coast, the man overboard was unable to be found. By the time the person was found, he was already dead. Because in such a case, you can’t find the person who’s fallen overboard. Now you must be thinking, “How is that even possible?” Imagine this, a man comes back to his room from his duties around 10 pm. The last time he socialized with anyone was around 9:30-10 pm. He has to start work again the next day and his supervisors and seniors make it to work as well. He doesn’t show up for work at 8. By 8:30-9, the second engineer or chief officer, or whoever is responsible, goes looking for him. He can’t find him in his open room, who’s to know where, how, or when the man in question fell?

Even if you figure out when the person fell from the ship’s past position, you still won’t be able to figure out when exactly that person fell overboard. In such a case, once you’re sure that a man has fallen overboard, you promulgate all the signals, ring the MOB bell, ready the lifeboat and the rescue boat, and inform all the stations about the situation. But another thing you do is gather the crew and ask them when they last saw XYZ. Was it 10 pm? 11? 12? Whom did that person last interact with at 1 am? Then you put together that XYZ probably fell overboard after 1 am. Then you figure out the ship’s previous position at 1 am. This has been the ship’s track, this has been the mileage. And again, there are currents, winds, waves, there’s also swell.

What Is The Responsibility Of A Ship From Which The Person Falls?

After that, the whole ship has to drop their duties at that moment, then look for the man overboard. The ship is turned around. The voyage, the ETA, the next board of call, all of them are put on hold. Now the ship has to look for the person who fell overboard earlier. They try their level best to save that person. They come back on track and different kinds of maneuvers are engaged.

When Someone FALLS IN THE SEA Other ships nearby also participate. Come join in via voluntary participation, sometimes it’s forced participation. Naval ships also participate, I saw that in the US, and Taiwan as well. Even helicopters participate in such search parties. I’ve seen ships searching for days and days for lost persons. The chances of success in such cases are very low. There have been instances where bodies were found washed up ashore 3 days later. The bodies were completely unrecognizable. They had to be identified via their belongings, i.e., jewelry, accessories, etc.

When Someone FALLS IN THE SEA I’ve seen a dead body in the water myself. Bloated, somewhat like a balloon. You can’t tell what happened to them. That’s because it’s seawater, it’s corrosive in nature. It’s merciless to the human body. There are times when even bones go missing sharks and sea lions are responsible for such occurrences. That’s when the chances of finding bodies go even lower. In the meantime, if you want to know what happens when thunder strikes a ship, my article about that is here. If you want to know what happens when a ship is split into two, the article for that is here. Until my next article, take good care of yourselves. Remember me in your prayers. For more interesting information visit our site.

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