Harken Industrial™ Purchase System and MOB Lifesavers® Provide Perfect Retrieval Rig for Rescue Operations

Business Segment: Commercial marine, rescue

Location: River Hamble, the Solent, UK

Project Description: MOB Lifesavers® provides single-handed man overboard (MOB) retrieval systems for persons wearing lifejackets, to assist with rescue operations when recovering casualties out of the water and back on board a sailboat.

When on board a boat, safety is paramount. Every sailor needs to consider how they would retrieve someone if they fell overboard, especially in cold water. If the casualty or man overboard is left in the water for a sustained period, their core body temperature will drop rapidly. Initial cold shock can lead to cold incapacitation and hypothermia, which reinforces the need to have a suitable rescue plan in place.

As a result, MOB retrieval systems should be part of every sailor’s rescue plan to ensure that anyone who falls overboard can be recovered safely, quickly and easily.

Solution/Equipment Used: With more than 50 years’ experience designing and manufacturing high-end load-handling apparatus in the marine and industrial markets, Harken Industrial™ has the perfect solution to meet the demands of this task. Harken Industrial’s lightweight, compact and CE certified purchase systems offer low-friction pulling power when used as part of a retrieval rig. These systems can be used on their own or combined with existing equipment, such as the MOB Lifesaver, to assist with quick and efficient casualty transfer. The Harken Industrial MOB 6:1 purchase system has a powerful maximum working load of 400 kg (899.2 lb) and a break load of 1700 kg (3821.7 lb), making it ideal for this type of rescue procedure.

When in the water, the casualty’s lifejacket will inflate and the Lifesaver rope is grabbed by the rescuer and attached to the boat. The Harken Industrial purchase system allows the person to be hoisted on board with a halyard.

With a Lifesaver, the MOB has a retrieval system stowed within their lifejacket, which makes the recovery process quicker. The Harken Industrial purchase system also features a ratchet block system, which prevents the casualty from falling back into the water if the hauling line is released.

Combined, the MOB Lifesaver and Harken Industrial’s MOB 6:1 purchase system provide the perfect retrieval rig for rescue operations.

Client Testimonial:

“The key to the Harken Industrial 6:1 MOB tackle is the ratcheted block. That’s what gives us the flexibility and allows a small person to lift a heavy person back on board. The combination of the Lifesaver working with the Harken Industrial 6:1 MOB tackle is a winner.”

Duncan Wells, Author and Creator of the MOB Lifesaver.


The Harken Industrial MOB 6:1 ratchet purchase system allows a single person to retrieve another individual from the water and should be considered a critical  piece of equipment for safe and efficient MOB retrieval onboard sailboats. Find out more about Harken Industrial’s certified and abrasion resistant polyester rope purchase systems.

These Harken Industrial products were featured in the case study above: 443.2141.3M, 443.2141.10M, 443.2141.15M

Additional Resources:

The following video shows how the Harken MOB 6:1 purchase system is used in conjunction with the MOB Lifesaver to assist with safe and efficient MOB retrieval.