When a person falls overboard the worst thing to do is to jump in after them
The correct steps are:
- Place the motor in neutral to stop the propeller turning and swing the helm so the propeller is away from the person overboard
- Throw a lifebuoy, horseshoe or life jacket to the person and keep them in sight at all times
- Approach the person with the vessel moving slowly. Approach with the vessel heading into the wind and swell so that the person drifts to the boat
- Help the person into the boat, preferably over the stern, because a small craft may capsize or take water if you try taking them over the side. On yachts with overhanging sterns you should pull them in a the lowest point of freeboard
- Practise your overboard procedures whenever possible.