If you spend enough time at sea, you know that if it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen out there, Kitty. I have seen crew break an arm, get banged on the head, knock out a tooth, break ribs and even suffer a kidney stone. In each case we had to deal with the doctoring as best we could, even administering morphine and suturing up a scalp. But not much is known about injuries and illness at sea. Here’s a report in Scuttlebutt that addresses the issue.
In the absence of much research about what problems sailors face while at sea, a group of medical students from Norway, Germany and India have launched a study to find the incidence of illness and injury on board non dinghy sailing vessels, as well as to evaluate medical preparedness, with focus on medical kits and manuals.
To date, most of the information on illness and injury among sailors is confined to the more elite competitive aspects of the sport, such as the Olympics or the America’s Cup, as well to dinghy sailors who usually always sail with rescue and support personnel on hand. Both these groups are subjected to a high degree of risk and are not representative of recreational yacht sailors. Read more.