Can CATCH and LIFT be used to rescue a person gone overboard in a supine position?
No, this is not possible.
Rescue in the supine position is only required for people subjected to hypothermia. During the development phase of CATCH and LIFT, we thoroughly dealt with the topic of hypothermia having taken into consideration the possibility of performing a rescue in the supine position. It transpired, however, that this issue is far more complex than the rescue of a person in a horizontal position.
We are convinced that the target group of sailors instead requires the usage of a rescue system that can be easily operated where stress and adverse weather conditions are present.
- A closer look at MoB or PoB accident statistics in sailing and yachting (no ferry accidents considered) revealed that the core body temperature of people gone overboard rarely falls below the critical value.
- Severe hypothermia in people gone overboard was usually the result of multiple failed rescue attempts and the time lost as a result.
- The dreaded AFTERDROP effect can also occur even when the hypothermic person is moved only slightly despite their horizontal position: in case of rolling up the ship’s side, removal of wet clothes, ship movements, etc.
We decided, therefore, to develop a system which enables us to pre-emptively avoid hypothermia; namely, by means of rescuing the MoB from the water and lifting him/her back on board as soon as possible.