C-Hero™ Man Overboard Suggested Rescue System
The products that have been available for water safety and Man Overboard (MOB) retrieval have each been only a part of the solution. We believe that the C-Hero Lift™ Portable MOB Davit is the most important part of the MOB solution that has been missing for workboats, but we strongly recommend that you create a complete Man Overboard Rescue System to address the following issues:
- Float and be seen
- Alert: Automatically trigger an alert in the wheelhouse
- Fetch: Get a line to the Person in Water (PIW) and pull them close to the boat
- Reach & Attach: Reach down to put lifting strop around PIW's upper torso
- Lift PIW and swing them aboard
- Report a successful rescue
Float and Be Seen
These days, virtually all crew members are wearing a work vest or jacket for floatation in case they are suddenly in the water.
In addition, we recommend a strobe light attached to the work vest so that they can easily be located in the water. There are a number of these lights with LEDs for brightness and long battery life, but we particularly favor the U.S. Coast Guard approved LSC Aqua-Sirius Strobe.
This is a hydrostatic SOLAS-approved strobe light that will automatically activate once submerged. It has three activation functions, ultra-bright strobe light, or the SOS strobe to visually alert the boat with your location up to 3 miles away, plus a Steady-On feature for close-up recovery operations. A pair of AA batteries will provide bright white signal 60 times a minute for over 18 hours, will flash with reduced brightness for 5+ days.
Many workboat situations have a crew of only two persons, and even with a larger crew we believe that it is vital to have an automatic alarm that is triggered when a person falls overboard.
C-Hero™ has partnered with Emerald Marine Products, which makes the ALERT2 Man-Overboard Alarm System.
The ALERT2 system includes an ALERT2 Transmitter for each crew member to attach to their work vest. This ALERT2 Transmitter is also a hydrostatic device which triggers an immediate alarm at the ALERT2 Receiver in the wheelhouse when the ALERT2 Transmitter hits the water.
The ALERT2 Receiver sits on a stand with an antenna, and can be mounted anywhere near the workboat controls. In the event a person wearing the ALERT2 Transmitter falls in the water, it automatically begins transmitting to the ALERT2 Receiver. The receiver emits a loud alert, prompting the launch of a local rescue in those vital first seconds. Contacts on the back of the Receiver will also allow the vessel to wire a general alarm and/or plotting point of incident on the vessel's chartplotter.
Most workboats already have a method to get a line to the Person In Water (PIW), and pull them in to the boat.
If you are looking for another good way to bring the PIW in to the boat, we highly suggest that you consider a ResQ Disc™, which is a throw-able Frisbee-like device used to get a line out to a PIW and pull them in.
Here are some specifications and features:
- Approximately 12" in diameter
- Approximately 2" in. thick
- 100 ft of bright yellow polypropylene rope
- U.S. Coast Guard certified unit is safety orange for easy visibility (also available in non-certified yellow)
- Velcro strap on end of rope both for closure and storage AND to wrap on wrist or waist during deployment
- Easy and rapid deployment (less than 60 seconds)
- Holds up to 500 lbs.
Reach and Attach
Use the new C-Hero Reach™ Attachment Pole, which allows a crew member to "reach" down and attach a lifting strap to the conscious or unconscious PIW. This lifting strap will already be attached to the C-Hero Lift™ MOB Davit winch line, making it possible to immediately begin lifting the person in water on deck.
We are demonstrating this complete system now, updates and pictures to follow ...
Lift PIW and Swing Aboard
You retrieve the C-Hero Lift™ from its holding bracket and bring it to the bitt you have selected for MOB rescues.
In less that 60 seconds, you can:
- Secure the C-Hero Lift™ to the bitt with two stainless steel straps
- Connect the Snap Hook on the winch line to the lifting strap, which is already pre-loaded on the C-Hero Reach™ Attachment Pole
- Reach down with the Attachment Pole to swing the lifting strap under the PIW's arms and secure it to his chest
- Lift with attached winch line
- Use worm-drive hand crank to swing him in
A small person can attach the C-Hero™ to the bitt and lift a 350+ lb. person up to the railing and then swing him over and onto the deck.
After treating your rescued crew member for possible hypothermia and shock, congratulations are in order!
You can then complete a Man Overboard accident report with a successful result. Your success and a life saved will be attributed to good planning, training, practice, and the right tools for the job.