When is comes to racing, there are some very serious and focused programs and race outfits. The TP52 & 72’s for example represent high-end competition attracting professional sailors intermixed with Olympic champions.
The same is for the America Cup and associated World Cup series, AC75 testing and competition which shines a spotlight on just how high-speed and High-Tec these yachts are with the programs attracting serious corporate sponsorship and enormous sums being invested into design and development.
The grand J-class yachts with four yachts representing almost half the fleet were recently competing at the Palma Superyacht Cup. Its close quarters, white knuckle racing with fine lines at race starts and tacking and jibing on course marks. Many will recall the J-class crash a couple years ago in St Barts between Svea and Topaz.
There are numerous examples of how dangerous it can get on deck when yachts are in full race mode or even when training. With massively heavy loads on lines and winches as more advanced designs are developed seeking to eek out more speed and that minuscule advantage to give the yachts the upper hand. Injuries can occur from equipment failures, human error and just plain old bad luck. This also applies to racer/cruiser yachts which have a combined program of cruising and participating in race competitions.
To be prepared for injuries, a medical kit should be spec’d out to manage accidents in particular trauma. Such injuries can range from head trauma, to fingers/hands in winches – amputations, limb fractures and breaks & deep wounds, cuts and burns
Specialised items apart from standard dressings include:
Cat C tourniquet – to manage life-threatening blood loss from amputations or near amputations.
Celox – a haemostatic blood clot agent in powder and dressing forms to help stem blood flow beyond standard first aid response of putting pressure on a would and dressings.
Kendrick traction splint – to put a leg break in traction
Sam splints – malleable flexible splints for temporary splinting
Inflatable or vacuum splints – providing more rigid splint support
Pelvic binder – to secure and provide support for a pelvic injury
Floating stretcher – to assist with in-water injuries with potential neck or back injuries
KED Extrication Device – to secure and stabilise a head and neck injury
Neck collar – semi-adjustable to secure neck and head injuries
Oxygen kits – in particular of importance with an unconscious person and serious injury
These items are in addition to a standard medical kit that includes pain, allergy, suturing & stitching, and infection management. The objective in all cases is to achieve initial patient stabilisation. Being prepared for early and rapid intervention can make the difference in saving a limb or preventing a long-term paralysis and saving a life. Regular Medical Training and drills goes hand in hand with understanding and being well practiced with all equipment.
An example, of well-designed specialised medical kit is the MSOS Race Team Kit. The kit is split up into a Race Team and Chase Boat cases. When the yacht is cruising in between races, both cases stay onboard. In race mode the larger Chase boat case going into the chase bot with a floating stretcher. Additionally, a comprehensive first aid response is provided with a case for Shore side and portable container workshops.