"Man Overboard."
General Directions.

When this accident occurs, (should a vessel be on a wind, and the weather moderate,) call the "hands about ship;" put the helm down and heave in stays, "up courses," and lower down a boat as soon as the ship has lost her way, and, before she can gather stern way, haul the after-yards, and leave the head-yards a box; it may be necessary to fill them afterwards to close the boat.

Station a lad in each watch to catch and keep a sight of the person in the water, and let one go aloft to retain it; a cabin boy might also assist in doing this. It is most essential that the person should not be lost sight of.

The officer of the watch must see the helm is well attended to.

If sailing free with studding sails set, "let go top-mast and top-gallant-studding-sail tacks," "trip up lower studding-sails," "lower royals," and bring the ship by the lee first, and then to the wind, with the main-yard braced up; lower a boat as soon as the ship has lost her way.

To explain this more fully: if the wind is on the larboard quarter, bring the ship to the wind on the starboard tack.

If the wind is on the starboard quarter, bring the ship to the wind on the larboard tack.

In each case brace the main-yard up, and leave the head-yards square or a box.

If the wind is right aft, come to the wind on that side on which the person has fallen.

After the studding-sails are in and unbent, it may be necessary to fill, and tack near the boat.

Stern boats are the most dangerous either to lower or to hoist up; and with stern way are still more so. On hoisting up a stern boat, the bow should be brought to the weather side of the ship; let a rope be passed into the boat from the weather quarter.

When a boat is lowered from the quarter, or hoisted out from a midships, a rope should always be passed into her from before the fore-rigging: the boatswain might do this. Many accidents occur from the bow tackle being unhooked before the after one, if no bowfast is in the boat.

Boats to be hoisted up on the quarters ought to have bolts through the thawts and keel, to keep them upright.

All vessels ought to have on board a copy of the Humane Society's directions for the recovery of persons apparently drowned.

Edward Jennings: Practical Hints Addressed to Seamen, for Preventing Accidents on Board Ship, and Especially for Guarding Against Hurricanes, Collision, Fire, ...
R.B. Bate, London, 1844. pp 55-56.

Transcribed by Lars Bruzelius

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