Man overboard

Falling overboard is a very serious risk. This incident is perhaps the most critical, but it can be anticipated to save the person at sea. MOB (man overboard) incidents can occur in a variety of situations, including when sailing at sea or in remote waters, or when loading or unloading ships.

There are several reasons why a person may fall overboard from a ship, such as slipping on a wet deck, falling overboard during a maneuver, or being thrown overboard in the event of a collision or capsize, wind, swell... It is important to take the necessary precautions to avoid falls into the water, and to have the appropriate safety equipment and maintain it in good working order to protect people on board the vessel and guarantee their safety in the event of an MOB.

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Balise mob homme à la mer gilet de sauvetage

Locating and responding to a man overboard

Locating the person who has fallen overboard is essential to their safety. If the incident occurs, it's vital to alert the crew by shouting "Man overboard", and to maintain visual contact with the man in the water.

Accessories such as flashlights, vest lights, distress beacons and reversing lights are invaluable aids in locating a man overboard.


The best-known device is the lifebuoy, also known as the rescue buoy. Attached to the rail or stern pulpit, this device must always be within easy reach. A long rope connects the lifebuoy to the boat, the lifeline, enabling the buoy to be thrown far out towards the passenger in the water, should the need arise. As soon as the man who has fallen overboard is spotted, someone throws him the buoy. Ideally, the buoy should be thrown behind the person, so that all you have to do is pull.

Lifebuoys come in different models, sizes and materials. Although lightweight, they are highly buoyant, stable and easy to handle. Buoys are often brightly colored with reflective stripes.

If you're sailing a small boat, a horseshoe-shaped lifebuoy is preferable, as it takes up less space and is easy to put on. The latter has an easy opening and adapts to the morphology of the person who has fallen overboard. A rope makes it easy to grasp the buoy by hand. Crown buoys and Silzig buoys are also available.

Bouée de sauvetage fer à cheval homme à la mer MOB

Accessoire bracelet MOB Xband

Accessories for man overboard safety

Wearing a lifejacket, safety lanyard and harness are precautions that can prevent falls overboard or ensure the safety of a person who has fallen overboard. The 'Mob' button on your VHF or GPS can help you send out an alert in case of need, or the MOB xFOB system, which can be worn on the wrist as a bracelet and automatically cuts the boat's engine in the event of a man overboard.

Re-boarding a man overboard

It's a good idea for all crew members to be familiar with the rescue procedure. Practicing the maneuver is also important to save time. Motorboats should steer on the side of the person overboard to avoid injuring them with the propeller.

The crew, themselves equipped with a lifejacket and a lifeline, pull the person overboard. Make sure all crew members are well, and choose the best equipment in case of man overboard.

remontée homme à la mer

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