MOB Drills for Yacht Clubs and Groups

We all go out sailing for fun, but for Yacht Clubs there are additional responsibilities.  One is MOB Drills - having a recommended one, providing MOB equipment to enable the drill to be carried out and training club skippers and first mates on the MOB drills.  

Why do we need a MOB drill?

This will be something that your club committee will need to decide, but there is a recommendation from the MAIB in a report into the 2006 death of a skipper who fell from a sailing vessel.  The report can be found on the MAIB website and this is taken directly from the webpage.

Synopsis - the skipper from the sailing vessel Huw Jars fell overboard during a sailing club race.  He was not wearing a lifejacket and, although rescued within 10 minutes, he had drowned.

Action taken

The Chief Inspector has written to the sailing club recommending they:

  • the requirements to carry and wear lifejackets
  • the need for a backup, adequately experienced crewman in case the skipper falls overboard or is incapacitated
  • the need to establish man overboard procedures and provide adequate equipment.


What Man Overboard Drill to use?

Every club is different and what works for one club may not work for another.  One way of developing your MOB Drills and ensuring your skippers are trained in the MOB Drill is to run a workshop where you develop your own MOB Drill, practice it and then deploy it out to your club.

Won't it be difficult to organise a MOB Drill practice?

This is where I can help make it easy for you to run the workshop or I can run it for you.  It doesn't need to be a whole day - a lot can be achieved in half a day.  It doesn't need to be done all on the same day - it could be added to the end of several sailing trips.

Running it in a sheltered part of a marina makes it safer by reducing many of the risks.  I have the Risk Assessment and Method Statement for the Marina Operations Manager, and Marine insurance to cover the £5 million third party liability that many marinas will ask for.  In addition, I have the MOB drill equipment and also dry suits and a dummy.  It will also be a fun session and be something different to add into your cruising calendar.


Photo of group of sailors practicing throwing rescue lines

2016 October Yacht Club MOB practice Morning.

Large groups MOB Drill practice sessions.

The most recent group session had 5 yachts (30 people), COWES RNLI and Hamble independant Lifeboat helped organise and run it and we spent 3 hours practising throwing lines, trying standard equipment with people in dry suits and then tried experimental ideas on dummies.  I set it up as a competition where each boat had to invent a new method as well as practice and standard one.  Afterwards I ran a club night where we reviewed each method and had "strictly come dancing" scoring and a "MOB-ometer"  It made it simple to see which methods worked on the day and which ones didn't.    Members who had missed the session could learn from it as well.

What about smaller groups learning MOB Drills.

It doesn't need to be a large group though because I'm happy to work with smaller groups as well, as small as 1 person in fact.  If you have someone from your yacht club that is passionate about improving the MOB Drills for your club then get in contact.  As long as you have a boat in the Hamble / Portsmouth area I'm happy to come down for free and spend an afternoon trying different things.

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Want something different from a Club MOB morning?

Maybe you've been on the RYA / ISAF coastal Safety Coarse and found the MOB recovery part interesting or perhaps you've just done your Dayskipper or Yachtmaster practicals and run through the MOB procedures.  

Want to do more MOB?  If so, we have a couple of options for Man Overboard Rescue training, both of which are free.  All I ask is that I can use any photos I take on the website, social media, magazine articles etc.

Yacht clubs - I can run half day sessions on your yachts as part of your regular sailing weekends.  Why not finish a cruise on Sunday lunchtime and spend the afternoon learning 5 MOB techniques.

Own boat sessions - anything from a few hours to a full day using all the equipment on your yacht. As long as your within a few hours drive of Jct 13 on the M25 I'll come along and you can try anything you want.

If you are interested in trying any of these MOB equipment out yourself then please contact me at or use the contact form.  If you have time, can you add some info on if you are a Dayskipper, Coastal Skipper or Yachtmaster and if you've done the RYA Sea Survival or the RYA / ISAF Coastal Safety course.