Man Overboard

Safety equipment, Life buoy or rescue buoy floating on sea to rescue people from drowning man.

Man Overboard Accidents & Injuries

“Man overboard” may be the two most frightening words a maritime worker can hear. Even in the calmest of waters, a worker falling overboard can be a life or death situation, and every second can count both in their rescue and in their immediate medical treatment after the fact.

The sort of injuries that one can suffer when falling overboard, both from the initial fall as well as the dangerous conditions of the water below, can be life-threatening and long-lasting. These injuries are a danger faced by maritime workers each and every day, and can often be the result of improper safety precautions or negligently dangerous conditions onboard the vessel.


What Does “Man Overboard” Mean?

True to its name, “man overboard” (also referred to by the acronym “MOB”) refers to the two-word signal given by maritime workers with one of their own falls off the vessel they were on board. This can apply when the vessel is in motion or at rest, and can be dangerous no matter how short the fall may have been, or how shallow the water they fell into was.


What Can Cause Someone To Fall Overboard?

Whether on a pleasure vessel, cruise ship, or when employed on a commercial vessel, falls overboard can be caused by a number of onboard hazards, including:

  • Unexpected waves or wakes
  • Clothing snags on hardware or nearby installations
  • Lost or damaged handholds
  • Improper safety equipment/harnesses
  • Sudden changes in vessel direction
  • Inclement weather

Many times, MOB scenarios can be attributed to a lack of proper safety precautions, or a lack of communication about vessel navigation and/or potential weather conditions.


Common Man Overboard Injuries

When a worker or passenger falls overboard from a vessel, the injuries can be nearly immediate, and as dangerous as anything encountered aboard the vessel. These injuries can include:

  • Hypothermia (from temperature shock)
  • Broken bones
  • Risk of drowning
  • Soft tissue damage (from landing or strain while staying afloat)
  • Attacks by animals living in the water

among others. No matter how fast the rescue efforts begin, every second counts in a man overboard scenario, and the damage can linger even after the victim is rescued.


Man Overboard Injury Lawyers

If you fell overboard from a vessel due to improper safety installations or procedures, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact the maritime attorneys of O’Bryan Law today to begin a review of your case.