What is Most Likely to Cause Someone to Fall Overboard – All Reasons and How to Avoid Them

According to the International Organization for Migration, people are falling overboard at a rate of about four every day. Two of them perishes, and two rescued alive. But what’s causing this? There are many possible causes. For example, overcrowded ships, lack of working lifeboats, or distress signals on transoceanic voyages may contribute to more passengers falling overboard than the industry average, the level of strain on ship crews, problems with emergency procedures. Now let’s find out what is most likely to cause someone to fall overboard.

Here Is a List of Possible Causes What is Most Likely to Cause Someone To Fall Overboard

1. An overcrowded Ship: Because the ship is overfilled, it will be harder for passengers to get off at the upper decks and take longer for people to leave. This can cause panic, and people may become desperate and, therefore, jump overboard in an attempt to escape. The faster you move out of a crowded ship, the more likely you are to survive.

2. Lack of Lifeboats: The number of lifeboats on a ship could indicate how many passengers could safely evacuate in an emergency. If a ship is overloaded and there are not enough lifeboats to accommodate everyone, several people may have to remain on board until the ship is towed away.

3. Distress Signals: The lack of active rescue equipment can lead to more people falling into the water as they feel it is an emergency and want to get off as fast as possible.

4. Emergency Procedures: In some cases, crew members may be unable or unwilling to answer a request for help because they are disorganized and do not know what’s going on. It’s very difficult to learn how long a person can survive at sea before becoming unconscious from dehydration or hypothermia.

5. Overloading: Most ships that go into the water do not exceed their capacity with passengers, but some do. This can cause danger for the occupants because they will be unable to disembark quickly when in trouble, leading to passengers falling overboard.

6. Substance abuse/Insomnia: Several forms of substance abuse can contribute to more people falling overboard than the industry average, like illegal substances or insomnia. Sometimes people resort to substance abuse before embarking on a voyage; this can make them act irrationally and jump overboard without hesitation.

7. Drowning while swimming: Impulsive behaviour can lead to someone drowning, while others who are not trained in this area may drown when they don’t know how to swim.

8. Loss of Sea Clearance: When you are on a ship under sail, the crew must maintain sea clearance at all times, meaning that there is enough space between the other ships travelling in the same direction so that if one ship needs to change course or stop suddenly for whatever reason, other ships are aware quickly. If sea clearance is lost or something happens, that makes other ships unaware of your ship because they can’t see you or communicate with you quickly enough may lead to someone falling overboard.

9. Bad Weather Conditions: Bad weather conditions can make it hard for someone to get on board or off the ship; it can also make big waves in the sea that, in some cases, will capsize boats or damage them in any way. Because of too high waves, people may lose control and be knocked overboard into the water.

10. Hit by a boat: When a ship is moving forward, if a person is not careful enough, they could be hit by a boat and knocked overboard depending on the speed at which it is going, because boats can sometimes hit their target very fast and knock someone out of control into the sea.

11. Internal Structure Collapse: The structure can collapse on a ship that is not well-maintained or if the ship is overloaded. This could lead to someone becoming trapped or knocked overboard into the sea.

12. Missing Persons: If there are more people on the ship than the vessel’s owners originally stated, then it can be considered a missing person. If this happens, not all passengers can be accounted for, and some may fall overboard during the voyage.

13. Blackout/Health Problem/Overworked Crew: When someone feels sick or has a blackout while on the ship, they could fall overboard without realizing they did it. Also, when the crew is working too much and is not well-rested enough to perform their duties, there could be more chances that they might have a blackout or get sick. People need to be well-rested at all times when they are at work since it can save lives.

14. Mistaken Identity: This happens when someone gets confused and thinks that he is being attacked or arrested when he isn’t really. If this happens, he could hurt themself by jumping into the sea to save his life.

15. Panic in the Crowd: This is when someone panics in a crowd and does something reckless because he doesn’t know what to do next or feels like everyone is out to get him. This could lead him to jump overboard, trying to escape everyone who wants revenge on him, which can be very dangerous because it’s hard for people to swim fast enough when they are in panic mode.

16. Medical Emergencies: When someone has a medical episode, they may become isolated from the others because they are unconscious or vomiting, so everyone else is left without knowing what happened to them and how to help them, so they may find themselves in danger of falling overboard while trying to save their life since no one has any idea what’s happening or how to help them.

17. Overworked Crew: When the crew is too exhausted and overworked, they may not help protect passengers from falling overboard or stop them from jumping over the side of the ship if they decide to do so. They can also start making mistakes and lose control of their actions at any time, depending on how tired they are and how long they worked without resting properly enough during their shifts.

18. Loss of Balance: If someone loses balance while moving around on a ship, he could get carried away and jump overboard without realizing what he’s doing.

19. Staying under the influence of illegal substances: This is when people are still under the influence of illegal substances they ingested before boarding the boat. If this happens, they may do things they wouldn’t normally be able to do if they were sober, maybe including jumping overboard or hurting others in any way.

20. Overloaded Boat: When a boat is overloaded with cargo or passengers, it can become very dangerous for everyone because it could capsize at any time, causing casualties to rise quickly.

21. Other: Other reasons could be behind why someone jumps overboard. Things like greed, love, envy, pride and other reasons move people to do what they would never normally do if not under certain circumstances.

What is Most Likely to Cause Someone To Fall Overboard 1

Tips To Avoid Falling Overboard

1. Keep your eyes on the deck at all times unless you want to look at the ocean. Or are in an area where you’re allowed to walk around without supervision. Please make sure you always have a good grip on something if the boat starts moving quickly when you least expect it. Don’t crowd an area where people are handing out food or drinks to avoid getting knocked over by others trying to get their food faster before it’s too late.

2. be careful not to fall asleep while on board. This is because you might fall asleep and not wake up when the boat moves and someone tries to knock you over the edge.

3. Never go out of cabin areas or other areas where there are no distractions by using nothing but your eyes to check where you’re going.

4. Avoid standing on open decks for too long as boats can get very cold at night. And it could cause you to lose balance and fall overboard trying to avoid the cold waves hitting your face, which could cause further injuries such as broken bones or scratches from saltwater getting in your body during a shipwreck scenario.

5. Avoid going near any ropes or cables. They could be loose, and someone may try to knock you over the side with them without you seeing it coming.

6. Avoid walking around alone. If a ship is moving and someone bumps into you, you could lose balance and fall overboard without anyone realizing it happened, including yourself, since you’re knocked out by the person who bumped into you.

7. Do not intake any substance which will make you lose your senses.  

8. Avoid jumping in the water if possible since this is the most dangerous thing to do while on a ship. If you do feel like jumping into the water. Get into a raft or board an inflatable boat that’s tied to the ship.

9. Never get close to an area where ropes are being used, especially when they’re being played with by people who are under the influence.

10. Never stand near anything that could be unstable under extreme conditions such as waves, wind, and other conditions that can cause things such as breakages. You may fall over the side of boats with no one noticing until it’s too late.

11. Not all ships are made equally. Some boats may be made so unstable that they could capsize at any given point. At the same time, other ships may be built so stably that they might never capsize in the first place, so you should choose which ship to board to prevent possible shipwreck scenarios from occurring.

12. Never risk your own life for someone else’s convenience or greed because if anything bad happens to the person you’re helping, you could end up getting very seriously injured by falling into the sharks’ mouths trying to save them. It’s always best if you can help people without risking your own life at all costs. This is not a good idea for anyone, and in the end, it’s still better to save yourself and your loved ones from being hurt.

13. Don’t get into an area where there are no lifeguards or lifesavers around because if something goes wrong, you could get hurt by falling overboard without anyone knowing about it until it’s too late.

14. If you’re a passenger, try to keep one of your feet on the deck at all times while walking around so that if anything happens unexpectedly, you have a better chance of catching yourself before getting knocked over the side of a moving boat by someone else who runs into you unexpectedly while walking around.

15. Don’t litter. This could attract sharks to the area and cause them to see humans as prey due to something as harmless as littering.

16. If you’re a passenger, try not to use your electronics or play around with things that may fall overboard or cause you to lose balance and fall overboard accidentally if it does happen, such as your shoes, phone, glasses, hat, etc.

17. Be careful when you’re in a crowded area because if someone bumps into you, you could get knocked over the side and slip and fall in the water before anyone knows it happened.

18. If you’re in a crowded area where there’s no supervision, don’t carry anything that would attract sharks, such as anything that smells like flesh, which is what scuba divers and victims end up smelling like to sharks. 

19. Try to avoid getting into an area with no railings since you could get knocked over the side without anyone seeing it happen. Even better, try to get into an area where there are railings on every deck so that you have something to hold onto at all times while trying to get around the ship.

20. Try to stay out of the water if possible because although it’s fun for most people, there are too many places on ships where someone can fall overboard without anyone noticing it happened until it’s too late, especially if they’re intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.

21. Don’t try to walk around barefoot since this is what people under the influence do to fall overboard because they lose one of their shoes or both shoes, which isn’t a very good idea since you can slip and fall into the water if something unexpected happens.

22. Don’t have any trouble with your drink or food since you could accidentally spill it on yourself or someone else nearby, which can cause an unnecessary argument between you and someone nearby, which could lead to contention between people nearby.

23. Don’t get into an area where people are fighting because if anything bad happens to someone nearby, the person fighting may potentially knock you over the side by accident even though they don’t mean for it to happen.

24. Remember to be careful when you’re near the edge of a ship’s deck since most ships don’t have railings on their decks, so you could easily fall overboard and slip and fall into the water if you’re not careful.

25. Don’t play with any ropes, cables, or cords that are loose since this could lead to serious injuries such as broken bones and scratches from saltwater getting into your body.

26. Don’t run around in areas with no lifeguards or lifesavers or in areas with no railings since this could make you fall over the side accidentally.

27. If you see something wrong, report it to someone in authority before it’s too late.

I know this is quite a long article, but I believe this article has enough information to help someone looking for answers about what is most likely to cause someone to fall overboard.

References

https://www.imo.org/en/OurWork/Safety/Pages/default.aspx

https://safety4sea.com/amsa-updates-requirements-for-passenger-safety/

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