If you can, hoist them in through a tuna door or over the gunwale, if you have an outboard engine you can use the tilt function to help lift them.
If you can’t get them into the boat try to minimize the amount of their body that is in the water, tie them partially submerged to a cleat, whatever you can do to minimize their exposure.
And, finally, hypothermia (exposure) sets in, and without rescue and proper first aid treatment, unconsciousness and death.
“As with most critical situations, like cold water immersion, it is very important not to panic.
“Survivors of cold water accidents have reported the breath driven from them on first impact with the water …Cold hands cannot fasten the straps of a lifejacket, grasp a thrown rescue line, or hold onto an over-turned boat.Within minutes, severe pain clouds rational thought.Cut all your fishing lines, unfortunately people have been known to try to bring their tackle in.Maneuver the boat in a safe approach to the victim, be careful with your props, and get them out of the water, depending on the time they have been in the water they may not be able to hold a line so be prepared to grapple them in some way; use a boat hook, tie a loop in a rope and lasso them, or grab them however you can.
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Under no circumstances jump in the water to try to retrieve them there are too many risks associated with entering the cold water.Keep in mind that the victim may not be able to help you get them out of the water.No matter how quickly you shutdown the motors the boat will likely still be moving away from the victim.Someone must keep their eyes on the victim at all times and never take them off.All emergencies are situational but a likely situation is a crew member going into the water, a simple slip and fall can be potentially deadly in the spring.
If you have a member of your crew go overboard make sure to immediately throw anything that will float into the water, the throw ring, a PFD, a cooler, or whatever you can get your hands on .
The Coast Guard records transmissions so even if you only have one opportunity to get the call out chances are good they got it.
The Coast Guard will worry about getting the information to the appropriate parties - so make sure you get the location information and identification out.
We all watch Deadliest Catch and say those guys are crazy, nuts, and we are all awaiting the next disaster to strike. When is the last time you called yourself nuts for spring fishing on the Great Lakes?
Spring fishing is a huge part of what we do as anglers on the Great Lakes; we can’t wait to break out of the winter doldrums by getting out on the big water and chasing our favorite fare.