Safety is always an important part of boating, whether you’re zooming along at high speeds, heading out deep sea, or just doing some casual fishing in lakes and rivers. While all boats need a first aid kit, sometimes the specific marine first aid kits can be a bit pricey, so people just settle for a regular first aid kit.
Whether you have a standard first aid kit on your boat or you want to upgrade your marine first aid kit, there are plenty of things you can add to deal with the illness and injuries that are likely to occur out on the water.
Things to add to your marine first aid kit
Sturdy container – if your first aid kit is in a soft pack consider putting it in a sturdy container, preferable one either fixed to your boat, or that can be stowed somewhere secure.
Sunblock & insect repellent – because someone always forgets.
Stop-itch lotion – for the someone who forgot.
Waterproof adhesive bandages & Band-Aids – this is a pretty obvious one most of us don’t even think of until your bandages keep sliding off in the spray as you head back to shore.
Motion sickness medication – not everyone can handle the gentle rocking of the seas, often those who can’t don’t realise until they’re hanging over the side rail. If they knew they got sea sick they probably wouldn’t have put their hand up.
Pain medication – don’t just stop at pain medication either. Medications that reduce fever can be a lifesaver when you’re a long way from medical assistance, particularly if you’re by yourself.
Antihistamines – allergic reactions can occur when you’re far from shore.
Antiseptic, swabs & cotton buds – most first aid kits will include these but add some more. Your marine first aid kit is likely to run through them a great deal faster than the kit in the back of your car.
Eye drops – the longer something is in your eye the more damage it can do. Also, it can really sting.
Bottled water – for rinsing wounds. Don’t run the risk of further infection if you aren’t sure about the water your boating on.
Butterfly bandages – open wounds that require butterfly bandages need to be seen by a medical professional but you have to stop that bleeding now.
Splints – you can get flexible splints for first aid kits that are adjustable for any limb. Splinting and stabilising a suspected break will greatly reduce the pain until you can get further medical assistance.
Chemical ice packs – these are particularly handy if you’re out on a long trip.
First aid handbook – because you can’t remember everything.
Hopefully you hardly ever need to access your boat’s first aid kit, but it’s better to be prepared and have nothing happen than the alternative.