Rescue Boat Sea Scoopa

International Patents

The Rescue Boat Sea Scoopa has been developed for Rescue Organisations who experience considerable difficulty lifting a non-cooperative, injured or unconscious MOB on board a rescue vessel, especially as many of the volunteers are in the older age group with disabilities that can impede lifting ability.

These Organisations have voiced two legal concerns which we have attempted to address. First, if a designated rescue boat lacks the equipment to safely lift an exhausted, drowning or injured victim aboard in a horizontal position, and the victim dies as a consequence, then the Organisation could be sued for failing in its duty of care. Secondly, there are the OH&S obligations to the rescuers. The enormous difficulties of lifting obese victims in waterlogged clothing without mechanical assistance should not be under estimated. Back injuries are common and each has the potential to cost the rescue service $100,000 in medical fees and compensation

The process is astonishingly quick and efficient. In the accompanying video with expert crew the MOB is scooped, lifted horizontally and stretchered in less than 60 seconds. In most MOB rescue situations time is 'of the essence' and we know of no other rescue device that can get close to this time frame.

It retains the Yacht Sea Scoopas' properties of Scooping and Parbuckling the MOB aboard. However, for this application the net is rectangular in shape and is attached fore and aft to the inside of the gunwale of the rescue vessel. The rigid outer batten of the net comprises both floats and hand grips for lifting. This batten is held out from the vessel by 2 jockey poles attached via flexible joints to its fore and aft ends to help create the scoop. This patented scoop effect is generated by the forward end of the net being weighed down with 8mm chain, whilst the aft end is held close to the surface by a taut rope in the aft pocket. A foreguy is deployed to help hold the scoop out at right angles to the boat. During scooping only one crew member is required to hold out the forward end of the scoop, the aft jockey pole can be held in a special restraint. The other crew member is then free to steer the boat at a speed of about 1 knot for the pickup .

Scooping is done with the vessel approaching the MOB at 30 degrees to the prevailing wind or current, whichever is the greater and then straightening up at the last moment. It is important to never lose sight of the MOB under the bow. For example if the Scoopa is deployed on the starboard side always approach at 30 degrees on starboard tack constantly sighting the MOB before heading up into the wind or current.

Because of the very high risk of propeller injury a propeller guard should be fitted to inflatable boats. For similar reasons, powerboats are put out of gear on final approach.

The Rescue Boat Sea Scoopa had to be modified to function on larger RIBs and on powerboats with a high freeboard. It is rigged on the same side of the cockpit as the steering station and the Scooping and Parbuckling procedures are identical to those previously described.

However because of the higher freeboard on these vessels a greater effort is required during the lifting process. The incorporation of a lightweight and readily detachable stretcher to the inboard side of the net on the gunwale is essential to allow safe lowering of the victim from the height of the gunwale to the cockpit floor and thence to a place of safety. During this process the stretcher is partially supported by being clipped onto the D ring on the crews' lifejackets as a further measure to help reduce rescuer back injury.

The standard 3.3 metre Rescue Sea Scoopa is suitable for the majority of RIBS and also for Power Boats with a freeboard up to 1.2 metres. A smaller 2.3 metre model is available for small RIBS with low freeboard and a larger 4.3 metre model with longer jockey poles is available for boats with freeboards exceeding 1.2 metres. All models require 1.9 metres of clear and unencumbered gunwale to allow the body to be smoothly rolled on board in a horizontal posture.

PLEASE NOTE Based on our latest trials of the device we have relocated the grab handles from the outside to the inside surface of the net. This is clearly illustrated in the Power boat video and has resulted in 2 very positive benefits. Firstly, there is no need to disentangle the net at the end of the lift, as it is allowed to progressively fall overboard during the lifting process and the stretcher can be detached immediately. Secondly, the effort of lifting is decreased as the crew do not need to lean over the gunwale to the same extent as previously and the legs can be bent and straightened whilst the back is kept straight with each upward lifting motion of the arms thus decreasing the risk of back injury. All current Rescue boat Sea Scoopas have undergone this simple modification. The accompanying photographs and videos of the small and large RIBs will be updated shortly to show this improvement.

NATA ACCREDITATION The Rescue Boat Sea Scoopa has been tested and certified to the ABR 5195 Standard 'Royal Australian Navy Lifting Requirements.' Certificate No. ABSS25291 to a load of 300 kg for both the net and the stretcher.

NATO STOCK NUMBER 6515-66-160-2559 The Rescue Sea Scoopa has recently been awarded this number so that other Navies can purchase it with confidence.

Small Rib Rescue Sea Scoopa Demonstartion Video

Large RIB Rescue Sea Scoopa Demonstartion Video

Power Boat Rescue Sea Scoopa Demonstartion Video

Rescue Boat Sea Scoopa Operating Instructions

The Rescue Boat Sea Scoopa Operating Instructions can be viewed HERE


The common practice of lifting victims aboard a Rescue Powerboat via the stern boarding platform must be condemned on 5 counts.

1. It is dangerous for the victim because if the boat is pitching, several tonnes of boat descending can inflict severe head and neck injuries.

2. Even worse, because the vessel must reverse under power to reach the MOB, the suction from the propeller will drag the victim into the blades inflicting fatal injury.

3. It is also dangerous for the rescuers because they have to kneel down, grab the victim, straighten up with the heavy load and then twist to drag the body onto the stern platform. No other combination of physical movements can be more calculated to cause a back injury. This is reflected in the unusually high OH&S statistics for back injuries in Professional Rescue personnel especially Water Police.

4. The rescuer whilst attempting to grab and lift the MOB, which normally requires two hands, can overbalance and become a 'Rescuer OB' thus compounding the problem. In this sit

uation it is very difficult to fulfill the time honoured maxim of 'one hand for the boat and one hand for the job' and avoid becoming a MOB yourself. 5. The lifting is vertical and if the victim has been immersed for a period of time and is hypothermic, this can lead to circum-rescue collapse. Lifting should be horizontal whenever possible.


There are a number of other rescue devices available which are marketed for lifting of a MOB into a rescue boat. A common question we are asked is "what is the difference between these and the Sea Scoopa ?".

The KEY difference is that the Sea Scoopa has been designed to SCOOP up the MOB whilst the boat is in motion, just as you would pluck a fish from the sea with a net. The other methods depend upon the boat being stationary alongside the victim. This is very hard to achieve in difficult sea conditions and we are totally convinced that capturing the MOB is much easier when the boat has 'way on' and can be manoeuvred during the netting process. Also, to capture a victim without losing them out of the aft end of a cradle is extremely difficult. This is the rationale for our patented mechanism where the Sea Scoopa is a proper 'scoop-shape' with the forward edge weighed down so it is deep in the water and the aft edge is held close to the surface. This is very different to a cradle, lifting net or rescue frame where both the forward and aft edges are equally submerged and the victim is easily swept out of the aft end.

Other significant advantages include

1. The apparatus is compact, lightweight and enclosed in an integral bag which facilitates handling. It can be simply and rapidly attached to the majority of commonly available rescue vessels within seconds and requires only 2 crew for the whole rescue operation.

2. The fine mesh of the net creates minimal resistance through the water, conforms to the body shape and does not have large apertures which can lead to limb entrapment and consequent risk of drowning in difficult circumstances. In addition, there are minimal uncushioned rigid components that can inflict injury.

3. The net encloses the whole body and minimises the risk of the victim slipping or overbalancing back into the water during lifting.

4. The MOB is lifted in a horizontal posture to prevent circum-rescue collapse which occurs with vertical lifting.

5. There is a simple pole mechanism to hold the net out from the boat during scooping.

6. The integral stretcher connected to the Sea Scoopa ensures the victim is 'stretchered' immediately on rescue and this greatly facilitates further handling both on and from the boat.

7. Pick-up is carried out amidships and not at the stern thus reducing the risk of propeller injury.

8. The 2:1 mechanical advantage of the parbuckle decreases the risk of operator back injury.

9. Construction utilises safety colour coded quick drying material with SOLAS reflective tape to assist in night time operations.

10. There is absolutely no need for a rescuer to enter the water during retrieval. One man overboard is bad news, two men overboard is an absolute disaster !

11. The Rescue Boat Sea Scoopa has undergone formal NATA testing to Royal Australian Navy Standard ABR 5195 and has been certified to a load of 300kg which greatly exceeds all possible rescue requirements.

12. A larger model with longer handles is available for vessels with higher freeboards and also a smaller version to suit small RIBs.

13. The Rescue Sea Scoopa has been tested and approved for use by the Royal Australian Navy and has been awarded a NATO Stock Number 6515-66-160-2559 thus making it available for other Navies to purchase with confidence knowing it has undergone thorough evaluation.