Lifting a swimmer

The subject of how to lift a man-overboard casualty is endlessly mooted in sailing schools and among cruising people. If a boat has an electric or hydraulic anchor winch with a warping drum, however, her crew need generally look no further. Even a powerful hand-operated windlass may prove more effective than a cockpit winch. All that is needed is a turning block to transfer the pull of a convenient halyard onto the windlass barrel and the question of enough power to lift a heavy person is solved. Try it next time you feel like a swim. It’s reassuring to know how simple such a lift can be.