First Aid Training for boat users

With the longer days, better weather and relaxation of lockdown measures more islanders will be taking to the water in the months to come. Knowing what to do in a medical emergency is a vital skill for all boat users.

St John Training Services is a RYA (Royal Yachting Association) accredited centre, providing first aid training for anyone who uses the sea for work or pleasure.

The one-day course covers all the essential first aid subjects and skills but from a boating perspective, including CPR and the recovery position in a confined space, treating a casualty on a boat, drowning, hypothermia and exposure, seasickness and dehydration. The training also discusses getting medical advice using a VHF radio and a helicopter rescue. The course satisfies the requirements for the Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster and Advanced Powerboat certificates of competence and is valid for three years.

The next RYA approved First Aid Course is taking place on Saturday 29th May from 9am-4pm at Les Cotils, St Peter Port.

The session is being taken by St John trainer Dave Welbourne, who has been involved in Guernsey’s marine community for more than fifty years, as a former commercial sailor and skipper of the Flying Christine. Dave is now a Senior Officer at the Emergency Ambulance Service and former paramedic tutor.

Dave Welbourne said: “The basic principles of first aid are the same on land or sea, but if you are on a boat there are lots of extra things to consider. You need to be prepared to adapt your response and your treatment for the environment you are in. You might have to wait longer for help to arrive, so you may need to care for the casualty for longer than you would on land. No one wants to be in that situation, but this course helps participants prepare themselves for those incidents, just in case.”

Heather Langlois, Training & Development Manager at St John Training Services said: “This is a really valuable course for anyone taking to the water. In the unlikely and unfortunate event of a medical emergency at sea prompt action can save lives. We are very lucky to have an instructor like Dave, with so much practical experience not just of first aid but also how to treat a sick or injured patient onboard a boat at sea.”

To book a place call 247979 or email info@firstaidtraining.gg. St John Training Services offers a range of courses suitable for the workplace, home and leisure. A full list of 2021 training courses is available at  https://www.stjohn.gg/training/calendar