Harken, C-Hero Debut MOB Rescue System

Harken, best known in the sailing and boating world for its blocks and winches, has partnered with water rescue product manufacturer C-Hero LLC on the innovative MOB (man overboard) Rescue System.

The C-Hero MOB Rescue System includes two main components: the C-Hero Rescue Davit and the C-HERO VR-12 Rescue Pole.

The Rescue Pole is a 12-foot telescoping pole made of lightweight marine grade aluminum tubing with an integrated strap for harnessing a person in the water. The Rescue Pole can be a standalone tool for rescuing a person who has fallen overboard. Rather than tossing a life ring or attempting to reach down to a person in the water, the VR-12 Rescue Pole allows the person on deck to safely reach the person overboard from a distance, even with the vessel in motion. Once the rectangular frame is placed over the head and under the arms of the person in the water, the pole can be set aside, with the rescuer then pulling the person toward the vessel using the integrated strap and line.

Complimenting the VR-12 Rescue Pole is the C-Hero Rescue Davit, a portable lift that uses a Harken winch and swingable boom to lift the person out of the water and over to the deck. The Rescue Davit can be quickly retrieved in the case of a man overboard and then strapped to a bit or bollard on deck.

Shane Smith, president and CEO of C-Hero, is well-versed in working on the water. He started his career in Hawaii doing diving, salvage, bunkering and ocean towing. He then spent more than 30 years in California as a vessel captain, operating push boats, conventional tugs and tractor tugs. Reflecting on working on the water, Smith said the C-Hero MOB Rescue System is a game changer, especially for vessels where, if a person goes over, there may only be one other person on deck to perform the rescue.

“The manning levels of towing vessels coupled with reduced maneuvering capabilities on heavily trafficked waters in restricted visibility limit rapid man overboard recovery options,” Smith said. “The C-Hero system is the best possible means of assuring a safe, swift recovery in nearly any operational condition by one person.”

Decatur Marine Audit & Survey, a U.S. Coast Guard third-party organization, recently reviewed the C-Hero MOB Rescue System and awarded it a type approval certificate specific to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) A520(13) operational readiness requirements for vessels with lower freeboards. Smith said the type approval is a huge step for the potentially life-saving system.

“We’re thrilled that Decatur Marine’s exhaustive technical review of C-Hero has resulted in the system’s type approval,” Smith said. “We look forward to the day when all Subchapter M workboats are equipped with a C-Hero MOB recovery solution.”

Decatur Marine, according to the announcement from C-Hero, is one of only two third party organizations with the ability to perform marine product type approval review and certification.

“The Decatur Marine engineering staff found the C-Hero man overboard recovery system to meet explicit IMO standards which, coincidentally, are concurrent with certain Subchapter M lifesaving equipment protocols,” said Phil Carmichael, technical director for Decatur Marine.

“The U.S. Coast Guard and The American Waterways Operators have emphasized the need for aggressive, industry-wide practices which reduce fall and overboard crew incidents and fatalities,” Smith said. “Our MOB recovery system type approval is yet one more reason why Subchapter M operators can put their full confidence in C-Hero to address this vital need.”

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