Man Overboard Recovery onto PWC

The key to teaching any manouvere: 


Consider P.A.M.E. –


  • Plan – How you are going to get there safely
  • Approach – What angle you should take, considering the wind effects
  • Manouvere – What speed and other considerations you need to make
  • Escape – Always have an escape route! 

Syllabus states – ‘Can – Approach and recover a man overboard’


Why? Usually to recover your passenger from the water when they have fallen off or perhaps been thrown off!


Fundamentals: Never use a real person to practice this exercise, instead use a weighted fender or MOB dummy. Demonstration as with all aspects of the syllabus, is key. The approach should be made from a reasonable distance downwind and be VERY slow. Remember to turn off your engine when you are near your MOB and recover the MOB from the rear of the PWC rather than the side, if this circumstance happened for real you could only practically recover the MOB from the boarding platform. To discuss recovery methods further there are videos available to show your students in the RYA PWC e-book. 

MOB Recovery Method: 

  • Plan: Is the MOB ok? Do you need to gain assistance? Identify the wind direction. 
  • Approach: Into the wind at idle speed
  • Manoeuvre: Position MOB to side of PWC approx 1/3 of the way back so you can reach MOB from helm position. Turn engine off when you are able to make contact. Recover MOB over stern of the PWC. 
  • Escape: If you're in the wrong position or have approached too fast then steer away or reverse well before you get to the MOB and start your approach again.