When a person falls overboard immediate action is crucial. The priority is to position the vessel near the overboard victim as soon as possible. To do this, the vessel must quickly reverse course by running a reciprocal course. A reciprocal course is putting and holding the vessel on a course that is exactly the reciprocal of the original course. The five step instructions for this maneuver are easy to follow with the use of the compass dial on one side of the Man Overboard wheel.
1. Turn dial on wheel to match vessel’s current heading.
2. Turn helm hard to port until compass heading has changed 60 degrees. See B on device for compass position that matches this 60 degree turn.
3. Turn helm hard to starboard to come around 240 degrees to reach reciprocal course as indicated at C on tool.
4. When vessel reaches reciprocal heading, straighten helm. This will bring the vessel back onto its original wake, traveling in the opposite direction.
5. Slow down and look for man overboard. Follow steps indicated for recovery on wheel.