Yesterday we hit on a couple of tips that could save your boat, so it seemed reasonable to talk about how to save a person on that boat, today. As captain of your craft it’s your responsibility to know what to do in an emergency, so it goes unsaid that every boat owner should be First Aid/CRP certified. If you’re not, sign up for a class this spring. And if you are, remember these three life-saving tips:
1. Emergency heat is always at hand, on a running boat. If someone goes hypothermic, warm them quickly by placing plastic bags or similar containers full of hot water in their arm pits and groin. On an outboard-powered boat, you can get hot water from the tell-tail. On an inboard, fill a metal container with water and heat it on the engine block. (Bonus tip: for a hot meal at sea, place a can of spaghetti or ravioli on the engine block for a few minutes.)
2. If someone goes into shock, place cushions on the deck in front of the transom, and have them lie down with their feet forward as you cruise for help. Because of the running attitude of a powerboat, this will effectively elevate the person’s feet (increasing blood flow to the brain.) Of course, you’ll still want to keep the victim as warm and stable as possible, too.
3. If you’re stranded at sea without fresh water and you catch a fish, eat the eyes. They’re 95-percent water.
Extra Bonus Emergency Prevention Tip: Whenever you’re night fishing, attach a cyalume glow stick to everyone onboard using a thick rubber band pulled through a belt loop. If they go over the side, it’ll be close at hand for signaling.