The person overboard may be recovered by small boat, the ship, or by air.
When the ship has slowed sufficiently to launch boat, the motor whaleboat will trek toward the target guided by signals, searchlight or radio. This is the most common method of recovery.
Under conditions of low visibility, when weather is too heavy for boat recovery, or when it is believed that a person fell overboard some time previously but was not seen or heard, it is desirable for the ship to turn so as to pass back down her track. This is achieved by the Williamson turn. The turn is started using full rudder (30 degrees). When the ships heading is about 60 degrees beyond the original course, the rudder is shifted and the ship is brought around to the reciprocal of her original course.
When the ship is turned about lines, swimmers and/or cargo nets are lowered when alongside the target.
A helicopter may be used to search wide area, or to provide immediate recovery ability. It is also useful in weather too heavy for motor whaleboats. A rescue swimmer will be deployed to assist in the air recovery.
Collision: A violent crash between two objects having a steady bearing and decreasing range. When a collision is expected, a call to “Rig For Collision (along with expected location of collision)” is called over the 1MC to alert the crew to prepare for a collision. When a collision is imminent, a call to “Brace For Collision (along with expected location of collision)” is called over the 1MC to alert the crew to take personal action to protect themselves for collision.