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:
- Be quick and easy to deploy
- Provide additional flotation
- Be visible
- Be easily found in any conditions
- Shouldn’t be blown from its location
Maintaining visual contact on the victim with the additional flotation will keep their head above water, but it is still a small target you’re tracking. It’s much more effective to have crew looking for an inflated pole, complete with reflective strips and SOLAS lights.
The SWITLIK Difference: the MOM PylonThrow your victim a complete man overboard recovery system. With the SWITLIK MOM 8-A and MOM 8-S, the Underarm Flotation Device will keep the victim afloat, while the pylon fitted with reflective tape and an LED light provides excellent visibility.
When inflated, the ballasted Locator Pylon has a 6-foot waterline height. Located on top of the pylon is a water-activated, lithium-powered, flashing light with 5 years of life. The light can be seen nearly one nautical mile away under normal night conditions. The pylon has 2 SOLAS reflective panels to aid the boat's search.
Tethered to the horseshoe and the pylon is a 16" diameter, ballasted, self-opening Sea Anchor to reduce downwind drift keeping the victim in the same position as when they went overboard.
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