Upon the call of “Man Overboard!” the OOD will immediately perform the prescribed ship maneuver to bring the ship back to its location when the man overboard was reported.
A DRT NC-2 (dead reckoning tracer) plotter is indispensable in a man overboard situation. When a man overboard is reported, a plotter must quickly mark the spot indicating the ship's present position, and change the DRT scale to 200 yards to the inch to keep a more precise track of the person overboard.. The ship's position must be determined where the person actually went over the side. A plotter then determines the bearing and range to the person every 15 to 30 seconds. The NC-2 plotting table utilizes five optical projectors for displaying own ship's and target symbols on the plotting surface. Own ship's position is located at the center of the polar diagram. During normal operations in the geographic plot mode, own ship's position (and, therefore, the polar diagram) move geographically across the plotting surface according to the DRT information supplied by the DRAI (dead reckoning analyzer-indicator).
Life jackets have a strobe light attached that blinks when in salt water. Spotters are posted to look for the person overboard. When the person overboard is spotted, a life ring/buoy is thrown as close to the person as possible and a smoke float is activated and thrown in the vicinity of the person.
Lookouts, under direct supervision of the OOD, are posted at stations on the fantail and sponsons to look specifically for the man overboard. At night, search lights may be used.