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Watersport activities – Tender, Sting & Diving Medical kits

As there is a main feature for Tenders & Toys in this months’ issue, I thought it appropriate to overview overall watersport activities and medical safety kits that we have developed to manage first aid incidents.

With the plethora of toys that exist on the active yacht of today, there are plenty of situations that can occur to be prepared and mindful for.

Firstly, as part of supervising activities from either a tender or an extended ‘Beach area’ off the stern, I would certainly recommend an experienced and fit ‘life-guarder’ or rescue swimmer is observing and ready at all times to respond should there be an incident.  Being prepared and ready means the watersport supervisor has mask, snorkel, fins and a floatation aid standing by to respond.

Secondly, equipment and medical kits.

In-water Stretcher – Strongly recommended is a floating stretcher such as the aquaboard to deal with a potential neck or back injury in the water.

Scoop cradle or Jason’s cradle – If no back injury then a scoop cradle can be employed, designed for the rescue and retrieval of a patient overboard in a horizontal or vertical position which enables two crew members to complete the rescue operation without entering the water. Favoured by coast guard and water rescue agencies, this includes an integral stretcher that clips on to the rescuers’ safety harness, allowing the patient to be stretchered immediately after water retrieval. This eliminates unnecessary handling of the patient.


Helicopter rescue sling – Alternatively, one of the fastest ways to get someone out the water is using a rescue sling operated off a halyard or tender crane (assuming no neck or back injury)

Tender kits – At MSOS we have designed two types of robust and fit-for-purpose Tender Kits.  Often times, I come across very basic kits in tenders with a small dressings pack in a non-watertight container that fall short of providing a good response.

Standard – Beyond just a dressing pack, we include wound & splint, eye & burn treatments, allergy response with antihistamines, asthma inhaler and an epipen, analgesics, seasick tablets and airway management. Designed for a tender conducting short shore side trips and excursions 30-60 min from the mother vessel.

Advanced – For a larger faster tender that’s intended for deep sea fishing, diving activities or extended expeditions 1-2 hrs away from the mother vessel.  This incorporates an added trauma response element with neck collar, inflatable splints, celox blood stopper dressings and a cat c-tourniquet.

Sting Treatment Kit – Jellyfish are a common and regular problem in the Med even when deploying a netted-off ‘pool zone’ off the stern. Vinegar is commonly employed as a standard response but not always the best option in particular if the sting is acidic-based.  An excellent response option is hot saltwater immersion or use of heat packs which provides initial pain relief and

Other activities & toys

Scuba Diving – Strongly recommended for a Tender conducting diving would be an Advanced tender kit, O2 response kit with a demand valve regulator housed in a pelican case and a defibrillator also in a peli case.

Jet fin electric hydrofoil boards – These are relatively new on the superyacht toy scene.  Great fun but the hydrofoil fin is thin and razor-sharp.  We have had one yacht client specifically request we put together a specific trauma response pack to deal with a deep wound.  This was very well anticipated by the Chief Mate who did have to respond during the season to a deep gash to the bone for a guest arm after he spilled off the board.  A similar kit would be useful for a jet ski

Watersport, tender and toy management is best conducted with a combination of appropriately trained supervisory deck crew backed up with fit-for-purpose medical and first aid kits.

Nick Stael von Holstein

Medical Support Offshore




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