Accidents do happen, even on open water. For this reason, boaters should be prepared if someone onboard or nearby needs medical help. Proper knowledge, quick action, and the right first aid treatment can slow down an injury before it becomes worse. Read on to know first aid at sea, along with some boat safety tips.
Boating in Australia
Boating is a fun recreational activity with a low risk of injury. Most boating injuries are due to negligence, such as accidental cuts, staying under the scorching heat for long periods of time, or accidental falls. Boating equipment can be dangerous if not handled with care, and there is a risk of acquiring injuries. Accidental drowning is also a risk when riding in a boat.
Boating has one of the highest participation rates for recreational or sporting activity in Australia. The good thing about it is it can be enjoyed by people of all ages, as long as they are fit to ride a boat. Compared with other activities, most boating injuries are not serious. However, every year an average of 23 people drown, resulting in death in Australia.
To avoid such incidents, here’s a guide for treating and preventing injuries in a boating environment to ensure boat safety.
First Aid for Fishhook Injuries
Fishhook injuries occur when you forcefully remove a slippery, flopping fish that is on your line. It can also happen if you walk barefoot near sharp fishing gear.
If you suffer from fishhook injuries, do not attempt to remove any embedded hooks near sensitive areas. These include near the eye, in a joint, or deep muscle. If the hook is not deeply embedded, you may use the string pull method.
First, tie a short length of fishing line to the injury hold the hook using your fingers. Place it slightly above the fishing line and press it down gently, loosening the hook. Once removed, clean and bandage the wound.
First Aid for Sunburn
After a few hours of exposure to the sun, you will feel sunburn coming on. Mild to moderate pain, swelling, skin redness, and blisters are the common signs of sunburn.
For sunburn relief, cool the skin with a wet towel or take a cool bath.
Apply a moisturiser or gel-like formula like aloe vera to the burn.
Then, apply hydrocortisone cream and take ibuprofen for pain relief.
Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration.
First Aid for Severe Bleeding
A fish knife, a fishhook, or even a fish spine can result in cuts and bleeding injuries on a hand or arm. When this happens, the best prompt response for serious bleeding is applying pressure to the wound.
The first step is to apply direct pressure to the wound with a sterile gauze pad. Elevate the injured area to slow down the blood flow.
Only use a tourniquet as the last final measure in an attempt to stop the bleeding if direct pressure is ineffective. Apply the tourniquet 2-3 inches above the wound, closer to the torso.
Activate the emergency medical system by triple zero (000).
Other Medical Emergencies
Other medical problems in boating that may require first aid treatment are snake bites and broken bones.
These rarely happen when going out in a boat, but the consequences are often serious when it does happen. You should not move a person suspected of a broken bone or spinal cord injury until emergency help arrives.
For a snakebite, follow the DRSABCD for snake bites. Prepare yourself to be safe and comfortable on every boat trip by learning First Aid.
Build a First Aid Kit
Choosing the right boating First Aid kit will depend on the environment you are planning to travel to. Keeping a first aid kit on the boat is a must, but not just any kit will do. Store-bought kits often fall short of having the supplies for accidents on a boat.
Look for a marine, medical kit that contains all supplies geared toward boating scenarios.
Choosing an appropriate fishing first aid kit has much to do with the environment you will be fishing in. you should keep a first aid kit on the boat, but not just any will do.
Household first aid kits fall short of having the supplies needed for accidents on the water. Marine, medical kits contain supplies geared toward boating scenarios.
Take a Course
If you want to prepare for anything that can happen while on a boat, you should consider taking a professional First Aid Course. First Aid Pro offers both choices – blended learning and face-to-face classes.
The takeaway is a Provide First Aid course will teach you all relevant first aid for boating injuries and ensure boat safety.
Yes, you can call 000 – but how long will it take for first responders to arrive at the sea?
First Aid and CPR classes will prepare you to attend drowning accidents, sudden cardiac arrest, and other emergencies.