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First Aid At Sea

Use what you have...

First aid at sea can be a huge topic. Once you have purchased and set up a comprehensive marine first aid kit and taken a first aid at sea course it is important to think about the training for yourself and your crew.

This video podcast explains some of the considerations in calling for help with a marine VHF Radio, particularly if something has happened to the skipper.

As part of a journey to prepare for a skippering for his family Keiran enrolled in our Coastal Skipper & Yachtmaster Shorebased Course, VHF Radio Course & Safety & Sea Survival Course. Keiran and Elizabeth wanted to ensure he wasn't the only member of the family who could be useful in an emergency and so Elizabeth also enrolled in our VHF Radio Course. This turned out to be a very good idea and you can read in their story below.
"The holiday went very well until on the last day and in particular during the last 2 hours of the process of returning the boat to the marina in Croatia that I felt a significant chest pain and found myself in the process of having a heart attack while at the helm.

Thankfully I was able to ask Elizabeth to call for assistance( to send a doctor immediately as my chest pain was significant) and thankfully she was familiar with the VHF radio on board and was able to carry out an emergency call to the lead boat crew who were already at the marina some 30 minutes away.

The lead boat crew when into an emergency mode and sent a very fast rib with paramedics to our boat. The paramedics recovered me from the boat and took me to a waiting shore ambulance.

The journey on shore on the Friday afternoon was horrific and at the first of two hospitals I went into cardiac arrest.

In the end after a further quick ambulance ride to a second hospital I was placed into ICU and by 8.00pm that evening some 4 hours after my heart attack had a procedure which involved a stent put into one of the main feeder arteries to the heart.

I have reflected on this whole exercise many times since the attack and am very thankful that Elizabeth had the ability to use the VHF radio so very competently to get the necessary messages to the relevant shore based staff to save me.

So to you Neil for the time taken with you and your VHF radio course .... Thank you for ensuring Elizabeth had the necessary skills to use the radio as there is no doubt in my mind it simply saved my life.

I would hate another skipper to experience what I have just gone through. I am so very very lucky to be alive and writing this .

The odds were stacked against me on that afternoon but Elizabeth’s ability to contact the required assistance quickly via the VHF radio and their very prompt shore response and emergency procedures saved me.

Thanks again for your input..... What a journey!"