Yacht Crew: Urgency or Emergency?

Posted February 15 2018

Medical Rescue arriving on the scene for an emergency onboard a yachtWhen you get sick or injured, taking prompt and appropriate steps often determines how quickly (or slowly) you recover from the condition. However, this does not mean that the best course of action is to always head to the nearest hospital Emergency Room (if you are ashore) or to declare SOS, simply because you need a tissue. With regard to your health insurance and also in an effort to get prompt care, Urgent Care facilities are often the best place to go, if you aren’t going in an ambulance. In contrast, sickness or injury onboard, no matter how minor it may seem, should be treated with the utmost care and as an emergency. Some of the most common mistakes that are made regardless of where they happen include:

· Getting injured and then getting up and moving right away

· Not notifying anyone of something that happened or that you don’t feel well

· Continuing to ‘work through the pain’

· Not asking for help

· Spreading whatever you might have among the crew or guests

· Making the assumption that you will be fine

While any or all of these may be in play at the same time, the key is to realize when your behavior matches any one of these and to take corrective action before it gets worse. You should have your own onboard medical protocols and procedures readily available, and you also should be familiar with them in the event they are not accessible at the time of the incident.

With injuries, it can be difficult to know if something is a bad strain or sprain, or whether it’s broken. Don’t test it to find out! Instead, don’t move unless you absolutely must and ask for help. Once the situation has stabilized, have it evaluated by a medical professional onboard or at the nearest port.

On the other hand, you have some sort of illness that is making you feel uncomfortable, the key is to determine what it might be as quickly as possible, and take appropriate actions to treat the condition. In the event of a suspected contagion, isolate yourself as soon as you can.

Certainly there are any number of different medical situations that can arise while at sea or ashore. Some are of Urgency, while clearly others are an Emergency. The secret to a successful outcome in any case is knowing what steps to take, whether it is you, or a fellow crewmember that needs assistance. It’s also important to know what requirements you may have under your health insurance and/or P&I insurance for notifying the appropriate people about any accidents or injuries that might occur. That way the proper coordination may be made to facilitate costs of treatment and coordination with the hospital/doctors/facility that provide you with care.

Whether you have questions about your current yacht crew health insurance plan, or are looking for additional coverage such as sick pay / disability income or life insurance, the Insurance Specialists at MHG are glad to be of service. Call us today at +1 954 828 1819 or +44 (0) 1624 678668 or visit us online at mhginsurance.com.