Harken Industrial, Pewaukee, Wis., recently launched its new man overboard (MOB) rescue solution, the C-Hero Rescue Davit (Part No. IN144.6FT). Alongside the davit, the C-Hero Vertical Rescue 12 Pole (Part No. IN145) is also available to purchase, either separately or as part of the C-Hero complete MOB rescue system.

Developed by Shane Smith at C-Hero, the VR 12 Rescue Davit is a portable man overboard rescue device, designed for use on tugs, barges and other workboats.

Capt. Shane Smith started his tug career working with his father in Hawaii in the 1970s doing diving, salvage, bunkering and ocean towing. He later moved to California, where he worked for more than 30 years as a tug captain performing coastwise towing, pushing barges on the rivers, and ship docking on San Francisco Bay. He has operated pushboats and tugs, both conventional and tractor tugs.

Smith spent a good part of his career training captains and helping companies go through internal and external audits of their marine safety management systems (SMS). He became concerned that most of the SMS systems used by tug companies were focused on monthly or quarterly man overboard (MOB) drills, while never having a way to retrieve the person from the water.

Smith started C-Hero in a garage with the notion of helping crews with MOB recovery. The C-Hero system has a proven three-minute underway MOB recovery. He still goes out on the boats to stay in touch with the needs of the crews and their companies.

“This is a system like no other of its kind,” Sean Cogan, Harken industrial's sales manager, said from the floor of the International WorkBoat Show in New Orleans in late November. “It’s a portable easy-to-operate man overboard rescue system designed for workboats and barges that can be operated by one or two crew members and developed by an experienced tugboat captain. Set up is quick and once in place, a single crew member can hoist a 350-pound person back on board the boat.

The system weighs 17.2 kg, is light enough for one person to carry into position and consists of a small crane and a self-tailing Harken winch, that attaches to any bitt on a boat (A bitt is a pair of posts on the deck used for fastening mooring lines or cables). “When someone goes overboard, time is of the essence,” said Cogan. “Depending on where the boat is operating and what time of year, the amount of time you have for a rescue can be a short amount of time, especially is icy waters.”

The rescue davit’s straps and brackets on the back of the unit allow customization for any bitt. The davit attaches to the bitt in less than 30 seconds, Cogan said. A single person of small stature can haul a person up to 350 lbs. onboard using the included Harken 20STA Radial winch (can also be upgraded to a 35.2 STA Radial 2-speed winch). The boom is long enough to clear tires and fenders; the worm gear controls the boom swing.

Other specifics of the rescue davit include the following:

  • Constructed of anodized marine grade aluminum and stainless steel to stand up to harsh marine environments.
  • 13.7 meters (45'), with a 10-meter lift line with stopper ball and hook and 6 mm tension line.
  • 6"x3"x24" aluminum tubing hold the adjustable feet and stabilizers.
  • Davit is 6'8".

When deployed, the rescue pole goes over the person in the water and then under their arms for a vertical recovery. Harken Industrial photo

When deployed, the rescue pole goes over the person in the water and then under their arms for a vertical recovery. Harken Industrial photo

The VR 12 Rescue Pole is designed to provide the quick recovery of conscious or unconscious persons. When deployed, the rescue pole goes over the person in the water and then under their arms for a vertical recovery. Crew members stay safe onboard and inside the bulwarks during the process.

Other features of the rescue pole include the following:

  • ¾" aluminum tubing with a strong 7' foam-filled hoop that allows a single crewmember to rescue a fully dressed person wearing a life jacket who weighs as much as 350 lbs.
  • Rescue strap detaches from holding blocks and snaps when being deployed.
  • Can be easily and quickly re-rigged for additional rescues.

The equipment is manufactured to IS0 9001standards for C-Hero by Harken Industrial in Pewaukee, Wis., and distributed in the U.S. by C-Hero. Harken Industrial will sell the system through its industrial products networks in the rest of the world.