Man overboard (MOB) events are occupational accidents resulting in the highest number of fatalities compared to other maritime incidents. Responding to MOB accidents forces responders to make difficult decisions under stressful conditions. Among those difficult decisions is the captain's choice of having a crew member enter the water to save a MOB casualty, while the circumstances develop abruptly. A review of maritime accident investigation reports indicates that the majority of responses seem to be instinctively reactive, involving human emotions under the effect of challenging environments.
This study focuses on the analysis of Emergency Decision Making (EDM) procedure for MOB casualty events, exploring whether responders should or should not enter the water to rescue a casualty under the circumstances. The study includes a survey and quantitative analyses of the resulting survey data. Ship captains were posed with possible scenarios and the authors recorded their decisions for each combination set of event variables. The results, obtained using both Binary Logistics Regression (BLR) and General Linear Models (GLM), led to the understanding of the response logic for MOB casualty events. Finally, the authors developed an emergency decision-making procedure with two flowcharts for potential use in general trainings or emergency drills aboard the ship.