The number one golden rule to avoid the risk of an MOB situation is to stay clipped on. The Clipper Round The World Fleet now clips on when the true wind is over 10 knots. If you’re the skipper it’s your call when your crew clip on. If you’re crew and you want to clip on, do it, it’s your safety. Clipping on requires proper jackstays, clipping eyes, harnesses and safety lines. For unavoidable deck work in foul conditions offshore I use two lines, clipping them alternately when I reach a crossing point so that I always have one firmly attached to the boat. The elasticated webbing type help keep them tidy, but be sure not to have them so long as to allow you to hang over the rail, possibly with your head in the water.
One other thing – folk tend to rely on guard wires when they lose their balance on deck. It might not be the correct thing to do, but it’s often unavoidable, so make sure they are properly secured and the stanchions bases sound. Rather than fixing them to the rails using steel shackles or lashings, try using a soft shackle on the end that can be cut when needing to drop the wires in an emergency. discovered one golden rule – a passive radar reflector should be as large as possible. Better still, if you really want to be seen by a passing ship and can afford the initial cost (c. £500) and have the battery power to run it then buy an active Radar Target Enhancer such as the excellent Active-X (echomax.co.uk).
With seconds of activation, rescue services will know you’re in distress Clipped on while working at the mast, but the jackstays aren’t tight and the tether is too long