If ever an argument had to be made for effective CPR training the report on a man overboard incident from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch is it. After 4.5 to six minutes at about 40 metres the victim was brought up with no signs of life, given CPR for several minutes then started to cough, was medevaced and has made a full recovery.
The victim suffered a burst lung and other injuries due to immersion at depth.
The incident also shows the enormous value of having a knife easily available in sch circumstances.
Here’s the MAIB synopsis:
At 1248 UTC on 6 January 2011, a fisherman on board the 8.24m potter Blue Angel was dragged overboard when his leg became caught in the back rope of a fleet of creels that was being shot over the stern. He was submerged for several minutes at a depth of up to 40 metres before the two remaining crewmen managed to recover him on board and administer first-aid. A coastguard helicopter arrived on scene swiftly and transferred the fisherman to hospital where he made a full recovery.
The MAIB investigation found that Blue Angel’s creels could become jammed in the stern opening if they were dragged through at certain angles. Working practices on board meant that when a fisherman went aft to free a jammed creel, he was likely to walk on or near the back rope and risk becoming caughtin a bight of rope and being draggedoverboard. Furthermore, there was no system of positive communication between the fishermen and the skipper to ensure that the boat was slowed and the weight taken off the back line when a crew member went aft. Although
personal flotation devices (PFD) were available on board, they were not worn routinely by the crew. The vessel’s owner has been recommended to
improve the safety of the self-shooting arrangement on board.