After some years working with various charter agencies I have noticed that it pays well if you check out on board first aid kit with special care. This part of required equipment on every vessel plays extremely important role during your sailing trip. Some countries have a special regulation on the content of first aid kit but it seems that charter agencies sometimes fail to check them out or complete the missing content.
In all the time I have spent on board I had to use first aid kit only a few times, but when you need it, it is usually lacking crucial things such as proper bandages, sticking plaster or antiseptic. Therefore, my advice to all who go on board would be not to rely on what is found on board but to take their own ‘on board ambulance‘.
That small piece of additional luggage should contain sterile bandages, bands, sticking plasters, and surgeons tape all of multiple sizes. Along with bandages, two types of antiseptic would be good to have – one liquid and one in spray. Antihistamines are helpful in case of bite by an insect or a jellyfish, while analgetics prevent almost any kind of pain. Make sure that you take some multivitamins and multi-minerals which are crucial in case of exhaustion.
Speaking of pills, many people ask me for pills against sea-sickness. I personally don’t like them because they might make you sleepy and groggy. In case of sea-sickness I would recommend acupressure motion sickness bracelets which I believe to be more reliable and works better than ‘drugs’.
Activated carbon becomes very useful in case of bad stomach and diarrhea, especially if your stomach is responsive to change of nutrition or water. Stitching kit is also good to have on board, but I would not recommend using it unless you are educated in first aid. Some antibiotic rub against burns is also good to have on board, while I would recommend you to take some cold jelly or rub to help you with bruises which are almost inevitable on every sailing trip.
All things mentioned above are good to have but I would rather like you not to use them. So remember, it is always better to prevent than heal which means that you have to employ extra care whenever you step on board.
I wish you a calm sea, a fine wind and a strong mast!