Shortening The Lanyard On MOB Beacon


IMCA Safety Flashes summarise key safety matters and incidents, allowing lessons to be more easily learnt for the benefit of all.


The practice of shortening the lanyards on MOB beacons was discovered by someone visiting a vessel. This was accordingly communicated to the Chief mate to be fixed.

If the lanyard is shortened, the MOB beacon may fail to activate, or, if it were activated, the person who fell overboard may find themselves in the potentially hazardous situation of being too close to the heavily smoking MOB beacon while handling the lifebuoy.


  • There was a lack of understanding of how these Life Buoys operate, as well as failure to perceive relevant hazards.
  • There was improper/incomplete inspection of Life Saving Appliances onboard.

Lessons learned

  • Check the length of similar lanyards attached to MOB beacons; the correct length will be prescribed in the manufacturer’s manual.  It should be long enough to allow the lifebuoy to gain good inertia after being thrown, before releasing the MOB beacon from its cradle.
  • Include a check of the MOB beacon in the planned maintenance schedule.

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Source: IMCA


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