Watermanship Page: 80
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OPERATION OF LIFEBOATS, RAFTS, AND
43. HANDLING LIFEBOATS. a. Rowing. Orders and
instructions for rowing a lifeboat will be given by the
boat's commander. In the absence of an assigned boat
commander or any other officer or specialist similarly
qualified, the following basic instructions for pulling an
oar should be used:
(1) Command: OARS. Sit erect in lifeboat, eyes di-
rectly astern, oar horizontal to water, and blade flat.
Position of hands on oars is with wrists down to get
(2) Command: STAND BY TO GIVE WAY. Lean
well forward, arms straight, wrists straight, eyes directly
astern, and blade of oar vertical and just clear of water.
Hands are in natural position for a heavy pull. This is
beginning of stroke.
(3) Command: GIVE WAY TOGETHER (STAR-
BOARD, PORT). Lower blade into water and pull
oar by leaning back. Arms are still straight, eyes astern.
This is middle of stroke.
(4) Give a final pull with arms; this is end of stroke.
Blade is pulled out of water at finish of pull.
(5) As blade comes out of water, in (4) above, wrists
are bent down causing blade to lie flat with water. This
is known as feathering the oar and always is done to
lessen wind resistance or resistance due to spray. From
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United States. War Department. Watermanship, book, April 25, 1944; Washington, D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc96650/m1/86/: accessed June 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.