A splash and a shout of “man overboard” is a sound that will galvanise anyone who works on the water to action. Fortunately for the staff at Swanson Island they knew it was going to happen and the cause of the splash was the newest member of the Broughton Area Safety Team, a mannequin designed to help replicate man overboard scenarios for effective training. Specifically designed for the task of replicating a casualty in this scenario, the mannequin is a realistic size and weight, and importantly, doesn’t mind repeated dips in the sea as techniques are practiced over and over again.
The training at Swanson Island was made up of three scenarios where the team had to recover the mannequin. Each recovery acted as a realistic example and enabled the staff to practice important techniques. It was also an opportunity to look at best practice in dealing with this type of emergency with a number of opportunities identified on how to improve. Some of the techniques, such as accurately throwing a life ring, steering a skiff effectively into position for a rescue, and lifting a casualty to safety are critical skills and the new addition to the operations team provides a great opportunity to do so in a controlled situation.
The mannequin, or Ruthie as it (she?) is becoming known (named after the manufacturer, Ruth Lee) is a great innovation by the Broughton team, providing an excellent resource, not just for MOB training but also for confined space extraction too.