For those who have already learned CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.
This is not a replacement for training. It is to be used as a refresher or a checklist.
1. Check level of awareness
- Give your casualty a shake.
- If they are unconscious, call for an ambulance. Call a "
Mayday" on your VHF radio or call "911" on a phone. Provide your exact location plus the Name and description of your boat. Ambulance dispatch centers can talk you through the steps of CPR.
2. Check for breathing
- Turn the casualty face-up, open the airway by tilting the head back. Lift the chin.
- Look, listen and feel for breathing for a full 10 seconds.
- If person is not breathing, start CPR immediately.
3. CPR Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation
- Place the heel of your hand in the centre of the chest between the nipples. Put the heel of the other hand over it.
- Keep your elbows straight and press straight down at least 1-2 inches (4-5 cm) in depth for each compression.
- Do 30 compressions followed by 2 breaths into the casualty's mouth - pinch the nose shut. Repeat. If you cannot do both, do the compressions.
- Every 5 sets of 30 to 2 stop and check for breathing. You are trying to compress the heart under the rib cage in order to force blood through it! Push hard and push fast, you are aiming for a rate of 100 compressions per minute.
The song "Staying Alive" by the Bee Gees is about 100 beats per minute. You may also count out loud, "1-and-2-and-3...".
If you have access to an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) turn it on and follow the audio directions. CPR using an AED can produce survival rates as high as 75%.
If the casualty is breathing, and not bleeding severely (check underneath them for hidden bleeding), monitor them until help arrives.
Learn these skills in a CPR course from
Canadian Red Cross or the St. John's Ambulance.
This page was updated with the help of Chris Lundy, AEMCA PCP (firstname.lastname@example.org), a retired paramedic who has dealt with boating emergencies. Chris owns a first aid company called Exmedic and boats on Lake Simcoe.