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Handling Missing persons- If Missing At Sea or If Witnessed Falling Overboard


Below is our guideline When a person reported missing from ship

If Missing At Sea

(1) If it is discovered that a person is missing, the Master shall make a U-turn immediately to search the nearby waters for the missing person, and send an emergency message on radio to other ships in the area to request assistance.

(2) The Master shall notify the office of the following items:

a) The time and position of the vessel when discovered that a person was missing and what was done immediately thereafter;

b) The state of search, weather and sea conditions;

c) Whether an emergency message has been sent or not, and the response of other ships;

d) The latest observed health condition of the missing person and other information that may be of interest

e) The final result of the search will depend on the weather and sea condition. Discontinuation the search and return to the original route shall only take place after consultation with the Company

f) The personal effects should be inventoried and along with documents returned to next-of-kin upon receiving instructions from Company.

g) Consulate of the crew and the ships Flag administration to be informed.

If Witnessed Falling Overboard

a) Witness must immediately release lifebuoy with light and flare/smoke signal. If in daylight, throw overboard any big floating objects that may help to indicate the position.

b) Inform the bridge and the Master, which side the person fell overboard Activate GPS man overboard positioning button.

c) Start the Williamson turn ( which to be posted on bridge) d) Sound the General Alarm

e) Inform Engine Room of occurrence and possible manoeuvring

f) Check vessels positions

g) Alert ships in the vicinity

h) Broadcast Man-overboard Warning

i) Use extra Lookouts posted to keep person/flare/marking in sight

j) Prepare a lifeboat or the Rescue Boat, if any, to pick up person overboard. Make sure the boat has a VHF radio onboard for communication with the bridge.

k) Sound three long blasts repeatedly

l) Inform all.

m) Note the temperature of the seawater and consider the chances of survival. Prepare treatment when survivor is recovered

Note: Refer also to the IAMSAR VOL. III.

If Missing in Port

(1) It must not be assumed that any crew member who fails to rejoin the vessel prior departure is a deserter.

(2) The cabin should be searched for any indication that there was intent to desert.

(3) Local agent, authorities, P&I Club correspondent and the Company should be informed immediately and vessel to await Immigration Clearance.

(4) Documents and inventoried personal effects should be delivered to the agent and receipt obtained.

(5) Master to request agent to advise Consulate of the crew and the ships flag

Notification to Next-of-Kin

The Company shall notify the missing persons family with details about the situation. The information given shall be based on facts only and not contain speculations of any kind.

Note of Reference

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