British MOB rescue cleverly uses the boat's liferaft

MOB(COB): Being tethered at all times is half the battle, but getting back on board can be a significant challenge
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This week's MOB (or COB to use recent vernacular) incident in British waters took and interesting turn. The crew member, who happened to be the skipper, fell overboard but was wearing a life jacket and remained tethered by his harness. So far, so good. But he couldn't get back on board and the remaining two crew couldn't achieve it either.

So they called a Mayday, and from then on the Solent Coastguard, based in Lee-on-the-Solent, coordinated the rescue of the 63-year-old sailor.

What happened next was interesting. The coastguard had told the two remaining crew on the man’s yacht to inflate their liferaft and to tether it to the yacht. They followed the instructions and the man climbed aboard.

At the same time, the coastguard broadcasted a relay to any vessels that were nearby to assist. They then received an offer of assistance from the crew of a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) in the vicinity.

The crew of the RIB took the man to Brighton Marina, where he was checked out by an ambulance crew but was declared fine.

Newhaven Coastguard rescue team had been called out and Brighton RNLI lifeboat was also requested to launch.

Steve Mann, watch officer at Solent Coastguard said: ‘The remaining crew did exactly the right thing in calling for help in making a mayday call, which meant any other boats in the area that heard the broadcast were immediately able to offer assistance.’

Well done all, and something to remember if you have a MOB (COB) unable to get back on board but conscious and able to react to instructions!