Header image: Henri Lloyd in St Katharine Docks before the race start

Man Overboard in the Head

Miller - our Man Overboard dummy

Miller – our 70kg Man Overboard dummy

We practise a man overboard drill constantly, but what no one tells you is this.

What you should do if the shout goes up, and you’ve just spent twenty minutes getting out of all your layers, all so that you can answer the call of nature.

So you’ve got your knickers (sorry boys), thermals, mid-layer and oilskin salopettes round your knees, you’ve just relieved yourself and some bright spark, cheers Juan, yells “Man overboard!”

My instinct was to get all my layers back on as quickly as possible and get back on deck. But by this time it seemed that they could cope without me. All the jobs had been allocated or done. I was about as useful as a chocolate fireguard! Plus I’d left a mess below.  Or it would have been a mess if the sea had been rougher.

So, if it happens to you, don’t rush to get back on deck, instead flush the head properly, leaving the bowl dry. You’re probably more use washing your hands then making sure the kettle is on because if it does happen for real, or even if the swimmer gets wet during a drill, they’re going to need something hot!