Emergency procedures

A shout goes out from the deck, skipper out first. One of the crew has fallen through an open hatch at the back of the boat.

Life jacket on at breakneck speed as I fly on deck, clipped on, ready to help the skipper with a medical emergency.

The medical training I attended back in August kicks in, head and neck stabilised immediately, even on a rocking boat.

Medic is next up with a full risk assessment. Our crew member is carefully taken below deck put in his bunk and assessed again.

It’s agreed that half hourly observations of his vital signs are required, so between the medic and me we plan coverage to do just that.

Very thankfully all turns out well. Taking blood pressure with a howling gale pounding the boat is “interesting” but achieved.

We are alone in the middle of the Southern Ocean and our fallibility is accentuated. We have each other and that matters a great deal.


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