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The course is designed to provide a working knowledge of first aid for all those who go afloat, on inland waters or up to 60 miles offshore. The syllabus is based on the recommendations of the HSE and the MCA. The certificate is valid for 3 years and fulfils the requirements for: The MCA Code of Practice for skippers of small commercial vessels up to category 2, including boatmasters. The senior first aid certificate for offshore racers subject to ISAF regulations on first aid training (OSR 4.08.4) All RYA practical instructors.

The course may only be run by an RYA Recognised Training Centre. (RTC)

All candidates will be issued with the current edition of the St. Johns/St Andrews/Red Cross First Aid Manual. The duration of the course is 8 hours, with a maximum of 12 students. Resuscitation manikins (1:4 is recommended) and bandages are provided for practical sessions. A category C first aid kit and pocket mask are available, if that part of the syllabus is to be covered. (Required by skippers of MCA coded boats ONLY.)

Course objectives:

By the end of the course the student should be able to:

  • Perform CPR to current protocols, and understand the differential for drowning.
  • Understand the importance of the recovery position and the need to modify it for a small space.
  • Apply direct pressure to a wound to control bleeding.
  • Understand the term shock, recognise and treat it, with particular reference to internal and external bleeding.
  • Understand the treatment for cold shock and hypothermia following immersion and/or exposure.
  • Recognise the signs of a reduced level of response, with particular reference to serious head injuries. Choose suitable first aid equipment for their boat.
  • Understand how to get medical advice or assistance by radio.
  • Understand how to prepare for the evacuation of a casualty by helicopter.

Also be aware of the general treatment for: breathing difficulties, chest pain, seasickness, diabetic emergency, anaphylaxis, hyperthermia, fractures, seizures and burns Skippers of MCA Coded Vessels only: Be aware of the content and use of a category C first aid kit, including the pocket mask.


Session 1

  • Assessment, immediate actions and the priorities within first aid.
  • Unconsciousness and the recovery position
  • CPR
  • Drowning
  • Breathing difficulties

Session 2

  • Failure of the circulation: shock
  • Blood loss and the control of bleeding
  • Recognition of internal bleeding
  • Angina and heart attack.

Session 3

  • Levels of response and the AVPU scale.
  • Head injury: concussion and compression.
  • Immersion hypothermia and cold shock
  • Burns, including sunburn.
  • Exposure hypothermia/hyperthermia
  • Seasickness and dehydration
  • Diabetic emergency.
  • Seizures

Session 4

  • Fractures, including spinal injuries
  • First aid kits
  • Advice or assistance by radio
  • Medivac…..the evacuation of a casualty by helicopter.

Session 5

For the skippers of MCA coded boats:

  • The contents and use of the category C first aid kit, including the pocket mask.

Or Subject of special interest to the group:

  • Weils disease, blue/green algae, child CPR, marine stings, fish hooks, etc

This course is delivered from either of our Training Centre locations Barcelona or Gibraltar upon succesful completion a RYA First Aid Certificate will be issued.

RYA First Aid Course (1 day) Barcelona Palamos CNCB Marina Spain 

1 day from

£195 or €255

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