Rocks & mirror
Encyclopedia of Marine and Energy Technology



There are several types of man overboard retrieval equipment like ladders, scrambling nets, A-frames, Jason’s cradle, hydraulically operated platforms, etc. Whatever means of recovery is fitted, it should be both effective and simple to operate in all weather conditions. The system should be adapted for easy rescue of a weak or unconscious person.

Lifting survivors is preferable to having them climb a ladder or net. People who have been in the water, the injured and the incapable, should be lifted in horizontal or nearhorizontal position if possible. This minimizes the risk of shock induced by sudden transfer from the water and possible hypothermia. Vertical rescue in a single loop device is highly risky and should be avoided where possible.

Further reading: MSC.1/Cir.1182 Guide to Recovery Techniques

Cosalt Personnel Recovery Device (PRD) – A new safety equipment for man overboard retrieval situations. The device allows for conscious or unconscious casualties to be lifted from water in a safe horizontal position. The Cosalt PRD has plastic rungs and steel rods and is fitted with stainless steel snap hooks. Lifting strops and heaving lines are attached to aid retrieval. The PRD comes in a rescue stretcher configuration, to be used with block and tackle or davit arrangements. The PRD can also be used as a scramble net over the side of a vessel.

Dacon Rescue Frame – Approved by NMD - Conforms to the 1997 UKOOA guidelines for Standby vessels the Dacon Rescue Frame is a manual rescue “net” for use on rescue craft for gentle and effective recovery of exhausted and seriously injured persons from water. The equipment simplifies recovery and is quick and easy to handle for rescue personnel. The Dacon Rescue Frame is simple to use and requires only a brief introduction. The Dacon Rescue Frame is designed for use on any craft where the freeboard height makes it difficult to recover a person from the water.

Dacon Rescue Scoop is a powered rescue system for recovery of casualties from the water directly on board larger rescue vessels. The Dacon Scoop is a semi-rigid, manoeuvrable rescue net which is operated by a standard deck crane. The net suspends from t he ship’s side providing an effective rescue reach of about 3 - 6 m, depending on dimensions and crane reach.

Double loop RLS – A new double loop rescue device developed at the University of Applied Science in Hildesheim, Germany, by Prof. M.Schwindt allows lifting a person out of water in seated position. It consists of two double beckets – a floating one that fits under the arms and a sinking one to support the legs. The loops are easy to apply to an unconscious victim by a rescue swimmer.

Rescue basket – Rescue basket usually takes the form of a metal frame with floats/ fenders around its perimeter and the lifting hook made fast to the top of the frame, clear of people inside. The basket floats partially submerged, so that people can easily enter it or be pulled into it. The floats double as fenders during the lift, should the basket swing against the ship’s side. Some baskets are designed to fold for ease of stowage.