CYCA Medical Management for Mariners Course (MMM)

CYCA Medical Management for Mariners Course (MMM)

The aim of the CYCA MMM course is to enhance the skills and knowledge of mariners in the assessment and management of a crew member who sustains an injury or experiences a medical condition while at sea.


  • To increase the mariners' awareness of the hazards and causes of injury or illness at sea.
  • To assess the degree of illness or injury and;
  • communicate this assessment to shore base medical assistance
  • provide care for the victim with the appropriate medical equipment
  • To assist with the packaging and transport of a victim

The CYCA Medical Management for Mariners course has been specially designed to address the needs of the deep water sailing community. The course has been written by St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, in conjunction with the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Managing the medical emergency at sea presents problems in a unique manner. Often in geographical isolation and with very limited equipment and medical knowledge. This course is designed to address common medical conditions and injuries of sailors and to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge to adequately manage these emergencies in such conditions.

The course assumes prior knowledge of first aid principles and sailing experience.  To undertake the course participants must hold a current (or recently expired) apply first aid certificate and be members of the sailing community.  

At the completion of the course, it is expected that non-medical personnel will be able to assess and manage the following conditions-

  • sea sickness
  • respiratory distress due to asthma, anaphylactic conditions and trauma
  • near drowning
  • chest pain due to cardiac causes and non cardiac causes trauma and infective processes)
  • shock states
  • abdominal pain
  • altered level of consciousness
  • marine envenomation
  • exposure injuries
  • fractures and dislocations

Practical skills taught include:  wound care, injections, care of unconscious patient, packaging and spinal injury management.

The course will provide information regarding the optimal first aid kit for isolated use and clear information regarding the options for calling for shore based help.

Instructional material provided to course participants will include lecture notes as well as a set of quick reference guides for the conditions discussed.

Assessment will include a combination of practical and theoretical assessment on the conditions and management strategies identified above.

Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the successful conclusion of the course. Numbers will be limited to ensure maximum hands on experience. A minimum of 10 participants is required for the course to proceed. 

Please register your attendance by completing the enrolment form and forward with payment to CYCA Reception via post or email the form to

Future course dates will be announced soon and a waitlist of applications will be maintained for those who miss out on attending the upcoming course.

 Background on the course

The CYCA Medical Management for Mariners course is the brainchild of the CYCA Cruising Committee, that have previously conducted "Beyond First Aid" information evenings, with the assistance of a number of medical professionals from St Vincent's Hospital, prior to the Rolex Sydney Hobart for a number of years. 

The need for such a course came about when those attending these evenings expressed their concerns to Cruising Captain John Keelty, that the Senior First Aid course only covered the first 20 minutes or so before medical assistance arrived, and therefore did not impart sufficient knowledge for those at sea who could be hours or even days from any form of professional help other than radio assistance.

CYCA member, Dr Virginia Furner subsequently joined the Cruising Committee and together with John approached St Vincent's Hospital regarding the development of a course that would meet the needs of sailors at sea.  A working party was established with the late Professor Don Harrison (CYCA member) and Dr Bob Wright from St Vincent's Hospital and Cameron Edgar from Outdoor Access.  When funds were required, CYCA SOLAS Trusts stepped in to assist.

Captain John Keelty, CYCA SOLAS Trusts board member Alan Green, Dr Virginia Furner, Dr Bob Wright, Dr Steven Quain, Dr Greg O'Sullivan, Dr Melinda Berry, Alex Pile and Margaret Keelty for their outstanding and dedicated efforts in the development of this course. Special mention should be made of the dedication and contribution made by Professor Don Harrison in the development of the CYCA MMM course. Unfortunately Professor Harrison passed away in 2007.