5th February 2016
Medical and technical assistance worldwide
Dense fog. Wind blowing onshore. Swell running high. Where is the harbour entrance?
After this unintended gybe a crew member is put into his bunk with a severe head wound which needs stitching, but just at this moment the skipper also has other problems: the engine does not start and the engine battery shows signs of diminishing capacity, no solution in sight.
The skipper is brooding, getting nervous since he has not one, but two problems. He hopes the injured person can be treated ashore, if they can enter the harbour quick enough.
Certainly this is not a standard situation, but not an unrealistic horror-scenario either. Every skipper, every crew member can quickly end up in such an awkward situation.
Who can help? And how?
A doctor and ten minutes of his time to take an expert look at the wound would help greatly. And if one would know whether it is the fuel supply or the electrics causing the engine’s non-availability…
Such and similar occurrences, more or less dramatic, have befallen many crews; if one could contract insurance against that, a great many people would do it.
The case described and to be avoided could easily end up in a mayday situation. The crew needs help quickly – help enabling the crew to avoid even bigger personal injury and/or material damage.
Who is sailor, doctor, mechanic, electronics specialist, etc. in one person ?
Ashore, there is assistance for everything and anything but at sea, when and where it counts, you are on your own. Admittedly this is one of the great appeals of yachting, to enjoy freedom without limits, but what to do, if skipper and crew are at their wits end?
Is there a non-bureaucratic and fast help-hotline of good value, off the beaten track?
A group of long term and experienced boaters – many of which each one could contribute thrilling stories to this subject – have addressed such problems and come up with a tailor-made safety package for the yachting scene.
The SkipperCard: A system of medical and technical assistance
It specialises in the need of boaters for medical and technical support, based on membership.
- medical assistance (equipment, training and advice) by experienced doctors/sailors familiar with the special conditions offshore; before you sail and while you are at sea.
- technical advice (equipment and recommendation on tools, spares, wear and tear parts, etc.) by experienced engineers/sailors; before you start and while you are under way.
- 24/7 hotline worldwide for medical aspects, serviced by an extensive network of doctors (in German and also in English, being the international language at sea)
- 24/7 hotline for technical problems on board, covered by a group of competent yacht-technicians, wherever you are.
ravel insurance, valid for up to 56
Travel insurance, valid for up to 56 days/journey, all year round, whether you are boating at sea, hiking in the alps or skiing in Canada, etc. The necessity of the measures to be taken are decided by a health oriented doctor and not by a cost oriented insurance employee.
- Worldwide delivery of the right spares on the basis of a technical survey of your yacht.
- Various additional services for the chartering skipper or boat owner through a online data-base enabling the skipper, crew-member, doctor, boat-yard, insurance, etc. to quickly and efficiently exchange important and correct information by having access to data of persons and yacht.
The SkipperCard: A multi-purpose tool
Knowledge and competence to solve problems are the basis. To help at the right time and place is the declared aim.
The SkipperCard is backed by various technical advances in the field of communication and position indication.
Interconnected to a reliable network it makes expert advice available at the right place within minutes.
- AIS data facilitate help at sea, coordinated from onshore.
- Powerful telecom-networks and special software make video-analysis and support at the proper place available; a technology initially developed for insurances and damage assessment (in the example given above a doctor could guide a crew-member *live* at the very place to dress the wound properly).
- Stored data of the yacht inform about the yacht’s equipment. With a to-the-point analysis the specialist ashore can limit the causes of the problem. Ideally he is assisted by video-communication and/or pictures stored before in the yacht’s file.
Medical data of persons as well as technical data of yachts which are stored when applying for the SkipperCard are the basis of any qualified help, be it medical advice, coaching of repairs or express delivery of an important spare-part to your next port-of-call.
- Independent of mobile-phone-networks (not pictures yet, but verbal and written) communication by satellite phone is possible today. With data of patient and yacht stored in advance quick assistance and help is possible without tiresome clarification beforehand.
The SkipperCard will be presented at the Austrian Boat Show at Tulln/Austria and will be available from then on.
Annual individual membership fee will amount to Euro 165, and includes medical and technical support.
Article by: Alfred Pisa