New book gives guidance on lifeboat and rescue boat operations

Malcolm Latarche
Malcolm Latarche
ShipInsight

23 July 2019


A new book published by the Nautical Institute aims to fill the gap between training and reality by providing potentially lifesaving insights into the realities of handling a lifeboat, MOB boat or fast rescue boat in all conditions.

“There is no easy way to abandon ship,” writes Dag Pike the author of the book Driving Lifeboats and Rescue Boats. Pike is one of the most experienced navigators in the world and speaks from experience, having been shipwrecked twice in the Atlantic.

Taking to the boats, getting away from a stricken vessel and safely negotiating the open sea until rescued is likely to be one of the most demanding tasks a seafarer will ever have to face. Training in sheltered waters can never properly prepare the mariner for hazards of an emergency abandon ship or replicate the panic that may take hold among passengers in a lifeboat.

This book is the sequel to the same author’s Launch and Recovery of Boats from Ships (NI, 2017) and covers boarding preparations, leaving the ship’s side and how to handle small craft in following seas, beam seas, head seas, fog, ice and darkness. Even when rescue is at hand the boat’s crew will need to transfer passengers to the ship. The author highlights how the task is made harder by the unsatisfactory design of many modern lifesaving craft. Captain Pike also discusses the different driving techniques needed for the fast boats used to rescue people in the water and to tow liferafts.

The book is illustrated with numerous photographs and clear diagrams. It contains a combined index that references topics covered in both Driving Lifeboats and Rescue Boats and Launch and Recovery of Boats from Ships.