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There are many more project details in our SV LIMA premium area.

Anything can happen - everywhere. So be prepared..

It is not only good seamanship but also common sense: If you are far away from a medical infrastructure you have to have the most important medical equipment with you. And you should be able to use it. In case of emergency this is potentially going to save your life and the life for your crew members.

So check out what we do to make sure we thought about as much as possible.



Why do you need medical equipment on a boat?

This is a no-brainer. Easy question right? No one wants to NOT have sufficient medical support in case of emergency. Unfortunately we are no doctors and likely you not as well. And not always is a doctor aboard when you do a trip, a business training or creating video footage.

So you have to help yourself whenever necessary. From a little small cut in a finger by a barnacle while pulling a rope (that easily can cause a bacterial infection) to a broken leg while falling over something at the deck. We have to prepared for these situation to enable in minimum first aid.


How do you get informed about what equipment is really needed? 

There are uncountable sources to get information about what is needed on board of a vessel in emergency situations. But in the end you should cluster these sources and try to find out what is relevant for you.

What are the clustered sources:

  1. Check lists on the internet from other experienced boats / skippers: It is always good to check experienced people. Compare as many of these check lists as possible. Try to find the lowest common denominator depending on what area you are with your boat.
  2. Your own medicine cabinet at home: A very important component part of the medical equipment of your boat is also the medicine you need to use regularly or you likely will need out of your lifetime experience.
  3. A doctors appointment: On your next visit at your family doctor ask the doc what he thinks could be useful for you
  4. General experience: There are some typical things that come immediately to your mind when you think about typical deceases or incidents/accidents that may happen. Think about them, check what you would need for it for first aid and put it on your boat medical equipment list.
  5. Specific cases that you should take care of: Just an example -> Did you ever thought of protect your ears while cleaning your underwater body of your vessel? The barnacles you scratch away from the vessel can get into your ears and cause heavy infections. Earaches are horror as you may know. So always put some alcohol in your ears before doing that and also protect your ears with earplugs made of wax or cotton.


Typical deceases to take care of.

We provide you with a list of common deceases that happen to many people very often:

  • Headache / migraine
  • Flu
  • Fever
  • Sunstroke / hypothermia
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramps
  • Bogus
  • Sickness / Sea-sickness
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Trauma
  • Wounds
  • Cuts in your skin
  • Bruises
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • Cystitis / inflammation of the bladder
  • All kinds of allergic reactions
  • Upset stomach
  • Menstruation
  • Fractures
  • Earaches
  • Bumps
  • Hypothermia

You see there is a lot of possibilities that happen pretty often. Usually at home this is not the biggest problem. The medical infrastructure is available. Either you can fix it by your own at home or go you to pharmacy or to hospital. Not nice but you are safe. But at sea there is no pharmacy around and also no ambulance to pick you up and help you. It is all in your own hands. That is why it is pretty important to understand your responsibility and what you 


Meet formal medical standards.

As we are using our vessel in business context we have to meet specific requirements. One of these is being sufficiently equipped with medical facilities.

What we did on SV LIMA to fulfill those requirements we firstly started with purchasing a suitcase with medical equipment that is fine for a specific standard. In our case we went with the so called "ministerial decree from 2015/10/1 in Italy".

This is a standard for meeting all medical requirements for:

  • worldwide recreational shipping (more than 12nm away from coast)
  • local coast fishery (up to 12nm away from coast)
  • coast fishery (up to 20nm away from coast)


The pictures shows the formal document for the ministerial decree in Italian language




The project

Plan your medical equipment

First step is getting an understanding what kind of formal aspects you have to fulfil with your medical equipment.

Aspects to consider:

  • Basis medical equipment by law
  • Basis medical equipment recommended by your insurance company
  • Your own way of dealing good seamanship
  • Your understanding of responsibility for yourself and the life of your crew


Purchase and collect

Purchasing the equipment when you have an idea about what you need is pretty easy.

Ways of purchasing:

  • Local pharmacies
  • Local drugstores
  • Online pharmacies 
  • Online nautical shops: They usually have a combined set that fits to specific laws and recommendations. As an example we purchased our basic set at


Documents & list of our medical equipment

Feel free to download all document we provide to you. You can read it, use it, change it and use for your own individual purposes. Whatever makes sense for you. You are even allowed to use it on commercial level. No restrictions from SV LIMA side.

Note: You can find all downloadable documents including the full medical list (*.xlss, MS Excel) in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)


Store for fast & easy access, waterproof and in a colder place 

According to Murphies law ("Anything that can go wrong will go wrong") it will happen. An accident or incident will happen and will always happen at the wrong moment. So be clever and store your medical equipment  at a place where you have easy access. 

Waterproof is key on a boat. You are on the water. Humidity is going everywhere - even if you do not recognise it immediately. Water from outside by an overcoming wave or humidity of the air can negatively impact your medical plasters, bandages, metal pieces like clips or a stethoscope become rusty and so forth. So the best thing is putting everything in a sealed or waterproof case or bag.


Waterproof box we are using on SV LIMA


The most common accidents are skin-related cuts. If you do not want to share your blood everywhere use an easy-to-access bilge. That also has the advantage that your medical equipment remains at a cold place for longer therapeutic effects. 


Practice & learn

A 1st aid course is a must. So take the time and book a first aid training. Really do hands on and practice a recovery position. Learn for your own on a puppet how to revive somebody. Practicing means that you internalise these practises. Time counts in an emergency and even more at sea in rough conditions.

In addition we recommend to have one or more books available on your vessel about accidents and how to deal them. We use following books.


Book list

Note: You can find the book list in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)



Link list to sources on the web, downloadable pdfs

Note: You can find the sources and downloadable pdfs in SV LIMA premium area. Provide us with a beer and you get access for a full year. Get more info. (If you are already premium user you can reach premium area via top level menu "SV LIMA - Premium". This is only visible if you are premium user)





Medical equipment has expiration dates. So whenever you are on a passage, on a buoy, you lay on anchor take some time and check your medical equipment for potentially "coming soon outdated" pills or material. Never forget: There is no pharamacy around the next corner at sea!


Note: External emergency resources will be covered in another project where we collect as many as maritime helping services as possible. Check regularly on our website and our social media channels.


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