Is your Crew Prepared if Something Goes Wrong? MOB (man or person overboard) and safety training will make sure you and your crew are prepared for an MOB or emergency situation on your yacht.
In this guide we go through a few steps you can take to help prepare and train your crew to quickly and safely manage an MOB, fire, dismasting, call to abandon ship or other serious emergency.
Document your safety procedures
The first step is to have clear procedures in place so everyone on-board knows what to do if something goes wrong.
Document your emergency procedures in an Emergency Procedures Manual that can be shared with crew and kept on-board. This provides a clear reference with steps and responsibilities in case of an emergency.
This also helps you, as the skipper, to think through what the necessary steps would be, and how you could deal with different emergency situations such as a fire, dismasting, sinking vessel, person overboard or serious injury.
You can read more about this in our article ‘5 Tips to Improve Crew Safety on a Race Yacht.’
Discuss safety procedures with your crew
Once you have your safety procedures clearly documented, arrange a time to talk through these with your crew.
This can be on-board during a crew training day, or as part of a more social event. The important thing is to make sure everyone knows that you have procedures in place, what they are, who is in-charge during an emergency situation and what each crewmember should do. This also gives crew time to ask questions or raise any concerns.
Role-play potential emergency situations
Another useful exercise is to spend some time on your yacht to role play various situations.
You don’t need to leave the marina or mooring to do this. Simply head down to your yacht with your crew, set-up as if you were racing (with gear and crew in their normal race positions), pick a scenario and go.
Crew can move around the yacht to the correct positions, gather the necessary gear and go through the motions as if they were in the emergency situation while you talk through each step as a team.
On-water training for MOB and more
To take the role-play training one step further, head out on the water for some MOB or other emergency situation training.
This can be done on a dedicated crew training day, or as an impromptu session before or after a race.
Impromptu training provides the added benefit of surprise, making this a more true-to-life situation then planned training days.
You can check out some suggested MOB training steps in our article ‘5 Tips to Improve Crew Safety on a Race Yacht‘ or read our article ‘Get your Race Crew Up-to-Speed; Tips, Tools & Resources‘ to download our editable Crew Manual template with MOB recovery process.
Continually review and refresh your MOB and emergency procedures
Like anything, your safety procedures are something that will need to be reviewed and refreshed on a regular basis.
Before the start of a new sailing season or when you’re preparing for an offshore race are great times to get crew to review the yacht’s Safety Procedures Manual, or to do some additional crew training.