Sailing Safely: First Aid Kit
Generally speaking, sailing is a healthy sport with few risks. Accidents are rare, but especially cruising sailors need to be prepared to take care of wounds, illness and other health issues themselves. A good first-aid kit is essential. In this article, I give a checklist of items that should be in your first-aid box.
If you go daysailing in a dinghy, it is appropriate to think that all members of the crew are equally responsible for health and safety. With a larger crew, normally the skipper takes on the part of the “health and safety officer”. He will know about seasick sailors, he will collect information about injuries, he will co-ordinate all first aid efforts in case of an accident.
Such efforts often require training in first aid. In most countries, a certain percentage lessons in a sailing course has to cover first aid, some countries even have compulsory first aid training as a prerequisite for holders of sailing certificates.
In any case, at least one member of any crew should have some sort of expertise in first aid – if your country doesn’t require any training for health and first aid issues, you should voluntarily take a some lessons before you tackle your sailing challenge.
The “ingredients” of an appropriate first aid box vary. They depend on the type of sailing you plan to do: Cruisers often have to carry half a pharmacy matched with specific diseases from the countries they travel to, whereas dinghy sailors will barely ever need more than plasters and painkillers. If you are in doubt what kinds of medication and other items you will need, talk to your general practitioner or – for cruises – a doctor specializing on tropical diseases.
Guidelines to a Basic First Aid Kit
1.) A set of different sterile gauze pads will be of use for deeper wounds
Let me emphasize once again that this is more a set of guidelines than an actual checklist in the strict sense of the word. It might be incomplete for your type of sailing. It might be too extensive. You are not sure? Go to see your doctor who will be able to give you expert advice and who will also tell you where to get the gear.
The Best at the End...
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