In the latest edition of Signals newsletter, North P&I Club’s Senior Executive Kostas Katsoulieris discusses the steps to take onboard where there is a serious incident requiring medical assistance from ashore.
Firstly, basic first aid should be provided on board under the guidance of the Ship’s Medical Officer and with reference to the Ship’s Medical Guide. Timing can be all important when treating an emergency, so always call the emergency services immediately. Many ports have medical centres within port installations covering basic emergency needs.
Once the immediate emergency is under control, Club correspondents should also be informed to observe and report on medical care.
If a serious injury occurs, the Master should ensure that the cause, nature and extent of injuries are recorded. Additionally, any treatment provided on board should also be noted (including actions taken, first aid and any medicine provided).
Statements from eyewitnesses as to the circumstances surrounding the incident should be obtained and a sketch map drawn or photographs taken of the area of the incident. Namely:
- Secure evidence by retaining any damaged equipment (including tools, safety clothing and machinery) that played a role in the cause or nature of the injury sustained.
- In addition, the position of any CCTV cameras in the vicinity that may have recorded the incident should be noted.
- The ship should also consider if the VDR on board may have captured any relevant evidence, for example where a mooring accident has occurred.
The Club correspondent should also attend and consideration be given to appointing a surveyor (and in more serious cases a lawyer) to investigate the matter.