One day MOB Drill workshops for free.

You can cover a lot in 1 day, so if you or your sailing club want to put on an event then get in touch.  All my time, travel and equipment comes for free as long as I can use the photos on my website, social media, magazines or books etc.

The MOB Drill workshop covers a variety of scenarios and you will practice recovering a fit and able MOB, unconscious MOB and a tethered MOB.  Our equipment has more than one type of each main type so you can see the differences in action.

Picture showing all the Man Overboard Rescue Procedure and Recovery Drill equipment.

Our 2017 MOB equipment

Two MOB incidents have shaped the course material:

2006 Skipper drowned.  MOB from sailing vessel Huw Jars.  

The skipper fell overboard without a lifejacket, was rescued but it took 10 minutes and the skipper had drowned.  The Maib preliminary examination can be found at

2011 Christopher Reddish drowned. Tethered MOB on  Yacht Lion

The skipper was tethered and he fell overboard.  He remained tethered and was recovered in 16 minutes but had drowned.  Read the MAIB report at   and the Yachting Monthly article at

What do we cover in the MOB Drill Workshop?

What equipment are we using today?

The MOB Drill workshop starts with a cuppa and an inspection of the equipment we'll be using.  There are simple checks of fabric, webbing and metal to use to check the integrity of the equipment. We're lifting people, so we always check every bit of equipment on the day it's used.  You'll see:-

  • Ladders
  • Block and Tackle (Handy Billy)
  • Helicopter Rescue strops
  • Towed Rescue system
  • Kim Pick up sail
  • Throwing lines
  • Duncan Wells Lifesaver Lifejacket float free line
  • Rescue dummy.

I deliberately have a range of equipment because one size doesn't fit all and experience shows that what works for one doesn't always work from another.

Rescue techniques are broken down into 6 themes:

Bringing the MOB to the yacht after from 2 boat lengths away.

There are several scenarios where you will stop the boat a short distance away from the MOB:-

  • A crash stop either as the MOB goes overboard or immediately after they hit the water.
  • In rough seas where it is dangerous for the MOB casualty to be close to a moving yacht
  • Sailing shorthanded where you are the only person left on the boat and you want to maintain visual contact at all times.

Charter yachts don't have to provide a throwing line as part of the minimum required equipment.  Throwing a spinnaker line or mooring warp is difficult and they are less visible and may not float.  A throwing line is designed for the job, but there are different features and some are better than others.

We look at several types on the market, practice throwing it far with accuracy, repack it and then we'll also cover what the MOB should do - hold it over their shoulder and be pulled backwards alongside the boat.

MOB Drill for an uninjured and fit MOB using rescue ladders.  

We have 4 types so you can see the difference that webbing steps vs tubes and moulded plastic steps makes.  These ladders are quick and easy to fit and can be easy to get up in the shelter of a marina.  We'll make the boat rock a little and see how much harder it is with waves present.

picture showing a yacht sailor climbing out of the water using an emergency MOB recovery ladder

Getting an uninjured and fit MOB on board with rescue ladders.

Kim Safety Ladder

Recovering a conscious but tired MOB using Rope, Safety MOB Drill using Lines and Helicopter strops.

There are single and double strop methods, and we can use a spinnaker halyard and also the main halyard.  The dummy works well on the less comfortable strops, and we'll use a person for the padded strops.

picture showing a person being recovered from the water using two helicopter strops and the main halyard

recovering a conscious but tired MOB using helicopter strops.

Andy Burton being lifted onboard a yacht using an I C Brindle recovery strop

I C Brindle Recovery Strop MOB Manoverboard Recovery practice Spain Jan 2017

MOB Drill using the Boom and a Handy Billy

This can be used to winch a conscious but tired person aboard but it only really works well with lots of crew and flat water.  You'll see that with a short handed crew and a rocking boat it will not be so easy as the boom swings around a lot.

Picture showing a yacht sailor being recovered from the water using a handy billy and helicopter strops rigged from the boom. Man is just lifted from the water

Using the Boom and a Handy Billy.

Recovering an unconscious MOB.

Here the technique you'll learn is the Kim Pick Up sail.  This is a modern incarnation of the Tribuckle recovery sail so if you have one of these it will work pretty much the same.  The MOB can be manouvered into the sail and then is entriely enclosed during the lift.  This is also the only technique where it is a horizontal lift, reducing the risk of injury from hydrostatic pressure shock.

Picture showing a yacht sailor being rescued using a Kim Pick Up Sail

Recovering an unconscious MOB.

Recovering a tethered MOB that has slipped through the guard rails.

This is the Lion Yacht scenario - crew member or skipper slips under the guard rails and is tethered.  The boat continues to move and drowns the MOB.  The MOB drill would be to have first identified who takes over if the skipper goes overboard, and then if the MOB is on the low side of the boat and in danger of drowning, crash tack and raise the MOB out of the water and at the same time slow the boat.  Then a recovery using a halyard or block and tackle.  Speed of recovery is key if the MOB is being splashed with water.

The final exercise of the day is to bring everything you've learned together and practice it all from start to finish. We'll run through a MOB recovery with a stop watch and see how much more efficient it is with the practice.

The last thought for the day encourages you to make MOB part of your routine. When you are working your way around the boat doing your checks you can be thinking through your MOB survey ready to share it in your safety brief:-

Man-ufacture - what is it that you want to be made - eg what goes on the end of the Halyard, who does what, and if you are the one who goes overboard, who is taking charge.

Over - what Halyard, who is on the winch, who is on deck, who is sweating the line at the mast.

Board - Communication to control the lifting the MOB out of the water.  What happens when they are on deck, what happens next?

Want something different to One Day Workshops?

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.