This week I’m tackling the four day STCW Medical First Aid course for onboard ship. My brain is struggling a bit with studying after so many years but I am finding it really interesting. Having been a swimming coach for ages I have had to renew my lifesaving skills every couple of years, but this course not only takes things quite a bit further, its main focus is on first aid as it applies to being on a yacht.
Even if you are close to land it takes quite a while for help to arrive to a boat and if you are in the middle of an ocean then it could take days or even weeks. So in the absence of a quick response from an ambulance crew, it teaches you how to assess and treat people over a much longer time period. Yesterday was mostly CPR and today I have been bandaging fake gashes and amputations and learning how to splint broken bones.
There has been a lot of conversation about how, what seems fairly straightforward in the classroom, would actually work in the tight confines of a yacht, with a huge sea running and a storm raging. Talking as someone who hasn’t quite got her head around how anyone even manages to produce a simple meal in such conditions, it seems incomprehensible.
So I think the key on our boat must be to work as hard as we can on prevention and then hope that any accidents that do occur happen on hot, sunny, calm days!