Keeping A proper look out as officer on watch means being in compliance and respecting all the procedures and regulations amended by Solas and flag states.
It can happen that during some emergency like man overboard, the officer on watch will react instinctively without worrying too much about the procedure that he or she must respect to be in compliance with the solas.
To guarantee a more in-depth understanding of all the procedures that involve the rescue of a person overboard, we decided to make a short summary of all the man overboard procedures that must be respected by the solas, during this emergency.
What are the man overboard procedures by solas?
All the procedures that involve the rescue of a person overboard are dictated on SOLAS regulation III/17-1, where it states all the GUIDELINES FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF PLANS AND PROCEDURES FOR RECOVERY OF PERSONS FROM THE WATER safety
Since knowing the chapter will not improve our knowledge, in the next part of the article we will take a more specific look of what is important to know and how to be always in compliance with the procedure of the man overboard dictated by the solas.
General definition Man Overboard Procedure Solas
1 1.1 General Life-saving and other equipment carried on board may be used to recover persons from the water, even though this may require using such equipment in unconventional ways.
1.2 These Guidelines should be read in conjunction with the Guide to recovery techniques (MSC.1/Circ.1182) and the Guide for cold water survival (MSC.1/Circ.1185/Rev.1).
1.3 In particular, the Guide to recovery techniques (MSC.1/Circ.1182) provides a number of examples of how certain types of equipment can be used to recover persons from the water; and can also be used for the development of plans and procedures for recovery of persons from the water.
1.4 The initiation or continuation of recovery operations should be at the discretion of the master of the recovering ship, in accordance with the provisions of SOLAS regulation III/17-1.
1.5 The plans and procedures should be considered as a part of the emergency preparedness plan required by paragraph 8 of part A of the International Safety Management (ISM) Code.
That first part of the regulation for recovering a man overboard does not specify how you have to recover the person, it states only the guideline that you have to follow, in order to be in compliance with that.
One of the most important parts that every oow should remember is that the initial or continuation action should be at the discretion of the master.
The remaining part of the chapter is regarding
2 2.1 Matters to be considered when developing plans and procedures
A risk assessment should be conducted and documented when developing plans and procedures for recovery of persons from the water, including equipment intended to be used, taking into account the anticipated conditions and ship-specific characteristics.
2.2 The recovery plans and procedures should facilitate the transfer of persons from the water to the ship while minimizing the risk of injury from impact with the ship’s side or other structures, including the recovery appliance itself.
2.3 To the extent practicable, recovery procedures should provide for recovery of persons in a horizontal or near-horizontal (“deck-chair”) position. Recovery in a vertical position should be avoided whenever possible as it risks cardiac arrest in hypothermic casualties (refer to the Guide for cold water survival (MSC.1/Circ.1185/Rev.1)).
2.4 If carried, dedicated recovery equipment should be clearly marked with the maximum number of persons it can accommodate, based on a weight of 82.5 kg per person.
2.5 Recovery operations should be conducted at a position clear of the ship’s propellers and, as far as practicable, within the ship’s parallel mid-body section.
2.6 A source of illumination and, where required, a source of power should be available for the area where the recovery operation is conducted.
2.7 Ship-specific procedures for the recovery of persons from the water should specify the anticipated conditions under which a recovery operation may be conducted without causing undue hazard to the ship and the ship’s crew, taking into account, but not limited to:
- maneuverability of the ship;
- freeboard of the ship;
- points on the ship to which casualties may be recovered;
- characteristics and limitations of equipment intended to be used for recovery operations;
- available crew and personal protective equipment (PPE);
- wind force, direction and spray; significant wave height (Hs);
- period of waves;
- swell; and safety of navigation.
The last but not the level of importance is to ensure that all the crew members are familiar with the plans and the procedures to follow in case of a man overboard.
Being aware of the procedure to follow during the emergency is part of the job of an oow, it is of particular importance to understand all the measures and the point to consider,and be prepared in advantage on that type of situations, by making appropriate drills and training the crew properly.