First Aid for Onboard Medical Emergencies
A listing of selected on-line medical resources
for boaters, cruisers, and crew.
- PowerPoint presentations
First Aid for Onboard Medical Emergencies
Available in both
By William Quick, MD.
Extended Coastal Cruising:
A PDF presentation.
By Jerry Reves, MD, and Larry Raney, MD of MUSC.
Basic Boating First Aid
An on-line PowerPoint presentation, by Joshua Hawley, EMT. Easy to read on-line, and can be downloaded as a PowerPoint presentation.
First Aid: Personalizing your approach to medical
emergencies and more minor medical problems
Another on-line PowerPoint presentation, by Kathie King MD, FHYC Fleet Surgeon. Easy to read on-line, and can be downloaded as a PowerPoint presentation.
- Other on-line information
A website by
Jerry Reves, MD. Includes sections on
medicine chest, and
The Ship Captain's Medical Guide
UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency.
"The Ship Captainís Medical Guide is intended primarily for use on ships where no doctor is carried and it is necessary for laymen to assess and treat injuries and to diagnose and treat ill health. The Guide can also be recommended for use in other situations where professional medical advice is not readily available, for example on expeditions."
Consists of 15 downloadable PDFs covering just about everything.
The Onboard Medical Guide: First Aid and Emergency Medicine Afloat
A book by Paul G. Gill, Jr., MD. Published 1995; available at
Hint to cheapskates like me: You can click on the "Look Inside!" area at the Amazon webpage, and find details for treating some emergencies, including (among others) near-drowning, hypothermia, and jellyfish stings.
Being Prepared For The Likely Medical Emergencies At Sea
"A four-step talk to help sailors prepare for the most common medical problems when cruising."
By Alayne Main
Common Medical Emergencies Aboard Sailing Race Boats
By Carol Bareuther, RD;
All At Sea.
"The best way to prevent medical emergencies while sailing is to have a good crew briefing prior to racing...
Take time to be sure the crew is familiar with the deck layout and inform them of any hazards. For example, point out the worst obstacles like low booms...
Many injuries happen because new crew havenít sufficiently practiced."
Top Two Onboard Medical Emergencies
By Janine Ketterer and Kelly Sanford;
"The top two medical emergencies yacht crew are likely to encounter [are] heart attacks and drowning."
Treating Chest Pain at Sea
By Paulo Magalh„es Alves, M.D.;
"Doctors typically will manage chest pain cases as heart attack until proven otherwise."
Responding to a Drowning Victim
By Kelly Sanford;
"It's good practice occasionally to review the proper procedures for addressing the life-and-death scenario of attempting to rescue a person who has nearly drowned or appears to have died from drowning."
Your traveling medical record
By William Quick, MD; at
A listing of personal medical records that would be wise to have with you when traveling.
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Topics include (among others):
- Health information for travel to over 200 international destinations
- General information about vaccinations for travel
- Diseases related to travel, including malaria and yellow fever
- Illness & Injury Abroad
- Prepare for your trip
- Yellow Book 2012
- Travel health reference, includes updates to the online edition
- Find a Clinic
- Locate a travel health specialist or yellow fever vaccination clinic
- Stay Healthy & Safe
- Insect protection, safe food & water, survival guide.
- Resources & Training
- Training; journals & articles; domestic & international partners
Special Notice to Mariners,
1st Coast Guard District, 2001; at
Medical information is on third page.
Locate, Access and Assess, Stabilize and Transport
the American Canoe Association; at their
Aspirin: Questions and Answers
FDA; at their
- Websites selling medical stuff (Listed alphabetically):
- Adventure Medical Kits
"First aid kits and survival tools for wilderness medicine, family outings, and travel."
- Emergency Medical Products, Inc.
"Serving first responders, fire and rescue, police, hospitals, colleges and universities, and more for 40 years, EMP is your premier source for emergency medical equipment and supplies."
"...for the Coastal Cruiser, Ocean Voyager and Commercial Fisherman
...now serving the Commercial / Industrial, Law Enforcement, Search and Rescue, and Military Communities."
A Comprehensive Guide
Available at Amazon.com.
By Eric Weiss, MD and Michael Jacobs, MD. Second edition published 2012.
The latest information on marine first aid. It includes chapters on hazardous marine life, submersion injury and dive medicine, rescue and evacuation of the sick and injured, wound cleaning and closing, and much more.
(Note: Although the book has 333 pages, it is small in size: it measures approximately 6 x 4 x 1 inches.
Marine Accident Brief
At the National Transportation Safety Board website.
A PDF of a report of a collision between a passenger boat, Thriller 09,
and a Coast Guard vessel, CG 25689, which occurred after dark on December 5, 2009
in Charleston harbor. There were six minor injuries to passengers on the Thriller 09.
- Report your previous onboard medical problems!
A survey from the Medical University of South Carolina is on-line. It's
Cruising Health Questionnaire (III), (The
questionnaire is anonymous and confidential -- your personal information will not be identified or shared -- and should be filled in by the person with the illness
Updated April 11, 2013
William W. Quick, MD (member, Charleston Sail and Power Squadron).
Please provide comments or suggestions for additional webpages to him at