First Aid Kit For Your Boat  

Sailing is a sport with few risks, but sailors should be prepared for accidents. That’s why a first aid kit is essential for your boat.

What should be included within a first aid box can vary. It can depend on the type of sailing you plan to do. Cruisers should carry medication appropriate for the countries they sail to. Dinghy sailors will need a basic kit of plasters and painkillers.

10 essentials for a first aid kit for your boat

  • Sterile gauze pads
  • Plasters
  • Bandages
  • Clips, bandage tape and pins
  • Strong scissors
  • Sterile wipes
  • Painkillers and aspirin
  • Antiseptic and antiseptic lotion
  • Disposable gloves
  • Emergency blankets

You must tailor your first aid kit for to your specific needs. Add more if you feel it is necessary. You can also purchase ready made first aid kits for your boat.

It is also important to identify the correct container you will use for your first aid kit. A bag, box or other container – as long as its waterproof.

And don’t forget to keep your first aid kit topped up, maintain it and check it regularly.

When sailing with a large crew, the skipper is normally the health and safety officer onboard and will be expected to know all about sea sickness, cuts and wounds, and be able to treat injuries. This will often require first aid training, and within most sailing courses a large percentage is dedicated to first aid.

The RYA run a one day First Aid at Sea Course. It provides a working knowledge of first aid for people using small craft and those supporting skippers of yachts and small craft.

The First Aid at Sea Course covers: cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), recovery position, loss of consciousness, burns, hypothermia, bleeding, first aid kits, choking, head injuries, fractures, injury and illness, heat injuries and rescue.

Of course, prevention is better then cure so make sure you look after yourself:

  • Take care alongside water, not just when you're on a boat.
  • Wear a life jacket
  • Wear sensible clothing and shoes
  • Take a torch and spare batteries
  • Be aware of the danger of consuming alcohol

By keeping a first aid kit on your boat at all times, you are protecting yourself, your crew and your passengers from any unfortunate accidents. There is no excuse for not having a first aid kit on your boat. If you’re unsure about what should be included, ask a medical professional.

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