When someone falls overboard, it’s unexpected and usually in difficult conditions. Even the best swimmers, taken aback by the shock and cold water, can become quickly disoriented. As your boat continues speeding away, spotting and keeping an eye on someone in the middle of the ocean can be difficult, if you glance away for just a second, you could lose sight of your victim.
The first thing you should do in a man overboard situation is to provide additional flotation to the victim. In a perfect scenario, they will already be wearing a life vest but additional flotation like an underarm flotation device increases a person’s odds of surviving until the boat returns. Ideally, the additional flotation you throw out should be: