Watch Episode 11 of NWMA Weekly: Cold Water Rescue
Capt. Benjamin Garman, of the Northwest Maritime Academy (left), and Chance Busey, videographer and assistant marketing director at Gig Harbor Marina & Boatyard, discuss a topic of particular importance to boaters in chilly Pacific Northwest waters.
Watch their latest podcast below and learn about cold water rescue of a person overboard.
Capt. Garman, academy administrator, outlines the steps in pulling someone to safety from debilitatingly cold water.
“In the event that someone goes overboard and finds himself in cold water, the hope is that he is conscious,” says Garman. “Even if he is becoming hypothermic it is much easier to haul in a conscious person because you have some level of cooperation.”
Steps in Cold Water Rescue
- Get a hold of the person so he/she doesn’t float off.
- Figure out how to lift him: a life jacket or harness makes lifting much easier — plus it’s the No. 1 rule in boating: Wear a life jacket!
- Wrap a line around his chest and under the shoulders and tie with a bowline knot. Secure the line to the halyard on a sailboat or something else elevated for easier lifting.
- Position the victim facing away from the gunwale of the boat to protect his face and body during lifting. Haul him up and on board — with the help of another person, ideally.
- Once on board, getting the person into warm, dry clothes is a must.
Learn more of these life-saving skills and about maritime careers at the Northwest Maritime Academy. Follow the Northwest Maritime Academy on Facebook and check out classes and courses offerings under Calendar & Registration on the homepage of this website.