C Rescue - man overboard recovery cage for maritime rescue cradle equipment

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C Rescue - man overboard recovery cage for maritime rescue cradle equipment
Engineering and Prototypes

The Sea Fish Industry Authority had worked with Rob Reid on various other projects over the years and on receiving an invitation to see a demonstration of the man overboard rescue cage from a large fishing vessel in Peterhead harbour they readily agreed. From the demonstration it was obvious that the man overboard cage was an effective means of rescue, as it not only provided the means of lifting the casualty back on-board but it also provided a ‘safe haven’ for the person in the water that one had to simply swim into to be safe.

Given that the idea was good in principle, Seafish agreed to help as part of their safety related work for the fishing industry. They produced detailed drawings and quotations were sought for commercial manufacture. North East Fabricators from Banff were the most competitive tender and were commissioned to build the first commercial man overboard cage prototype. The cage was delivered to Seafish in Hull for testing to take place in the wave and wind tank at Lowestoft Maritime College.

Problems were encountered immediately with the waves which had not been seen in calm water and it was obvious to all that it was back to the drawing board for the rescue cage.

Initial Setbacks

Rob Reid, Alan Dean of Seafish and James Kerr of North East Fabricators all worked as a team, with expertise in different areas, to try to resolve the problems. Another man overboard prototype cage was manufactured and once again sent off for testing. This cage resolved many of the initial problems but in doing so created new ones which once again would have to be resolved.

The team once again burned the midnight oil and tried to come up with solutions to the problems encountered and at no time did the thought of giving up ever cross their minds. Some radical changes to the design were implemented which resulted in the manufacture of a simple, lightweight but strong aluminium cage. This man overboard cage took only seconds to erect, was very compact and the team sent it off once again for testing. Some days later the results and film footage of the tests came back. The man overboard cage had passed all tests better than the team could have hoped. Great stability in the worst conditions that the Lowestoft Wave Tank could produce, supported two men and rode the waves in harmony with the casualties. The rescue cage was very rigid which allowed easy and unrestricted entry by casualty or rescuer to pull a person into, even with a life-jacket on, and protected the casualty in the cage from buffeting against the side walls of the tank.

More - completed solution and deployment>>

"A versatile rescue cage that is suitable for use from all vessels, especially high sided ones, for the recovery of persons from the water."

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