Marine First Aid Kits - The Essentials


Although you might not be using your boat as much at this time of the year compared to the long, hot summer months, now can be the perfect time to ensure your boat is fully kitted out when it comes to safety.

Whether you plan to pop out for a quick fish or you’re planning on a week-long family holiday island-hopping around New Zealand’s coast, you need to be able to handle any medical problems which happen on board.

Probably your first priority is to have basic first aid training – there are plenty of organisations such as St John who hold courses amd some more advanced Coastguard seamanship courses also include medical training.

But any boaties who face an on-board emergency require the tools to not only maybe help save a life, but also to prevent the need to call for a rescue unless it’s totally necessary.


The type of kit you require will depend on the type of boat you have and the type of trip you are planning – put simply, there isn’t a single first-aid kit which suits every purpose, you need to ask yourself a few questions first to highlight the sorts of medical emergencies you might encounter:

  • What am I using the boat for – day-trips, watersports, long-distance journeys, fishing?

  • Who is onboard and what requirements do they have – are there children, does anyone have allergies etc?

  • How skilled am I at first aid – do I need just a basic kit or something more comprehensive?

  • What communication gear do I have – can I radio for assistance easily or am I going to have to think for myself more?

Burnsco stocks a number of first aid kits designed for different uses:

  • Offshore: Suitable for multi-day trips and up to 15 people.

  • Coastal: Suitable for day-trips and small to medium-sized boats.

  • Recreational: Suitable for small boats and paddle sports and for single-person use.


And, finally, two things to remember which are absolutely vital when considering equipping your medical first-aid kit for your boat: make sure you keep everything waterproof and, if you use anything from the kit, make sure you replace it before you take your boat back out on the water.


For more information on safety gear for your boat, phone us on 0800 102041, email us, or Livechat with one of our staff via the website.