Man Overboard Recovery – Sea Scoopa

We proudly distribute and sell the award winning Sea Scoopa manufactured by FERNO Australia for man overboard recovery. This device helps get your MOB safely and easily back onboard. Its design delivers 2:1 mechanical advantage to help you recover a potentially unconscious person, in water–sogged clothing, from the sea. The slideshow at left shows Sea Scoopa for power & rescue craft as well as for sailboats.

Read on for features, specifications, videos, photos, documents, and reviews of sail and power models of Sea Scoopa.

Key Features

  • Lifts 600 lbs (300 kg)
  • Parbuckle lift
    • 2:1 advantage
    • saves rescuers’ backs
  • Compact
  • Fine mesh net
    • won't trap victim limbs
  • Lifts victim horizontally
  • Captures slippery victims
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Award winning
  • powerboat models
  • sailboat model


  • Compact - Various sizes
  • Lightweight
  • Deploy in minutes
  • Easy to stow - self–contained
  • Easy to transport between vessels
  • All in one package
  • Strong fabric and fittings construction
    • NATA tested to ABR 5195 Standard "RAN Lifting and Securing Equipment, Testing and Surveying Requirements" for loads up to 300 kg
  • Lifts person in horizontal posture
  • Made using high visibility safety/rescue materials
    • UV resistant nylon
    • UV resistant PVC covered polyester
    • Bright orange/red
    • Yellow
    • Easily distinguished from other gear
  • Highly visible at night
    • SOLAS light reflective tape
  • Easy to maintain
  • Easy to repack, reuse
  • Several models, to suit:
    • Powerboats
    • Rescue craft
    • Sailboats
    • Yachts
  • Australian Patent; International Patents Pending


Buy Sea Scoopa for Sailboats

$3,750.00Add to cart

Buy Sea Scoopa for Powerboats

$3,750.00Select options

Dimensions of Sea Scoopa and Accessories

This table shows dimensions of the model for power and rescue craft. Additional sizes, and Sea Scoopa for sail, are custom fabricated to suit. In reading the table, refer to part number notations in the image (the image below the table). Please contact us for consultation on your particular man overboard recovery needs.

ItemSee image belowRescue Boat FreeboardX (mm)X (in)Y (mm)Y (in)
Carry Bagn/a20308054021 1/4
Stretcherpart (1)n/a20308058022 3/4
Sea Scoopa 2.3 - Powerboatpart (2)< 2 feet (small RIB or inflatable)189074 1/2228089 3/4
Sea Scoopa 3.3 - Powerboatsimilar to part (2)≤ 4 feet (1.2 m)189074 1/23120122 3/4
Sea Scoopa 4.3 - Powerboatsimilar to part (2)> 4 feet (1.2 m)189074 1/23840151 1/4
Sea Scoopa - SailboatDimensions vary; please contact us


Sea Scoopa laid out flat on a lawn

Sea Scoopa (2) & stretcher (1); see table above for dimensions

How the Sea Scoopa Aids Rescue

Scooping up, horizontal recovery, mechanical advantage, and simple operation are the most important features of the Sea Scoopa. Both models, one for sailboats (shown above) and the other for powerboats or rescue craft (shown at right), deliver on these points.

Scoop Up Your Man Overboard

In the best case scenario of man overboard recovery, the victim is quickly spotted, uninjured, and non–hypothermic. But the Sea Scoopa can even help you recover an injured or hypothermic individual unable to assist in his own recovery. The device is deployed alongside the rescue vessel. The vessel is maneuvered at dead slow to a position alongside the man overboard. The device’s design enables scooping up the man overboard. Once engaged, or scooped up, in the device, the person can be lifted back aboard, even if he is unconscious.

Sea Scoopa over the side of a rescue craft

Sea Scoopa used on rescue boat

Horizontal Man Overboard Recovery is Best

Man overboard recovery accounts from World War II show that horizontal retrieval of downed pilots and sailors yielded better results than vertical retrieval as with sling equipment. Subsequent investigation of this phenomenon, called circum–rescue collapse, points to physiological and medical reasons that horizontal recovery is preferred. Learn more about circum‐rescue collapse here
The lower body is compressed by the hydrostatic effect of the water—the so-called G suit effect—and blood is diverted upwards into the chest cavity. Blood volume becomes progressively depleted by a physiological reflex causing excessive urination and pulse rate slows as hypothermia develops. Vertical lifting causes immediate loss of the G suit effect. The already reduced blood volume instantly pools in the lower body and the heart rate cannot increase to compensate for this sudden loss of central blood volume. As a result, circulatory shock and sudden death can occur. This is called circum–rescue collapse and is a recognized major hazard of vertical lifting when recovering someone who is hypothermic. For further reading on this, and other medical matters related to marine rescue, consult the rescuer’s bible, Essentials of Sea Survival by Golden and Tipton. This text should be in every sea rescue organization's library.  Bob Wright, MD, Director, Intensive Care Services, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, AUS
or offsite. The bottom line is that the Sea Scoopa is engineered to retrieve your man overboard in a horizontal posture to reduce the potential for circum–rescue collapse.
illustration of parbuckle

A parbuckle lift using rope

Take Advantage

Sea Scoopa employs an ancient method of lifting heavy objects, called parbuckling. Because the Sea Scoopa passes around the person in the water, playing the part of the rope in the illustration at right, the force required to lift is halved when the free end of the Sea Scoopa is hauled in. This important mechanical advantage enables more work with less brawn and reduces the likelihood of rescuing personnel injuring themselves in effecting the rescue.


Simple Operation

man overboard recovery device for power boats

Sea Scoopa for powerboats ready to recover man overboard

There are two styles of Sea Scoopa. One model is for power and rescue craft, the other is for sailboats and takes advantage of the boat’s mast. Please see the videos below, as they show sailboat and powerboat Sea Scoopa models in operation. Note that both models can help safely recover even a potentially unconscious person from the water. Both models require at least 6 ¼ feet (1.9 m) of clear gunwale to roll a recovered person back on board in a horizontal posture.


Military Application

The Royal Australian Navy tested Sea Scoopa and issued it a NATO stock number for the benefit of navies around the world.



For Power & Rescue Boats

For Sailing Yachts

Test by Practical Sailor

Test by SAIL Magazine


Review by SAIL Magazine

After testing Sea Scoopa for Sailboats, SAIL Magazine Executive Editor Charles J. Doane wrote the following in his review, in Back On Board: Testing the Latest Man-Overboard Gear:

The first retrieval unit we tested, the Sea Scoopa…is the only gear we’ve ever used that truly does make it possible to recover an unconscious or absolutely disabled MOB victim from the water without getting in yourself.Charles J. Doane, July 30, 2012

Photos of Sea Scoopa for Sailboats

As these photos depict, the design of Sea Scoopa for Sailboats is slightly different than the model for powerboats. This model takes advantage of the sailboat's tall mast and halyard. Please click a photo for a larger version.



Product Documentation

Operating Instructions

Please select the appropriate user’s manual for operation instructions of your model of Sea Scoopa.

Man Overboard Recovery – Sea Scoopa was last modified: May 31st, 2016 by Philip Thompson
This entry was posted in Safety at Sea and tagged by Philip Thompson. Bookmark the permalink.

About Philip Thompson

is an accomplished sailor and businessman who hails from Australia. He has raced boats from Lasers to handicap fleet keelboats and skippered the America’s Cup yachts South Australia (KA-8), Steak ’n Kidney (KA-14), and Challenge Australia (AUS-17).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *