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The Official Magazine of the Bluewater Cruising Association

Are you Leaving the PNW this Year? Would you Like to Participate in a Cruiser Safety Study?

Jessica Mackelprang

The Red Thread
August 1st, 2015

Cruising is an exciting and challenging experience, and boaters often spend years preparing for long-distance, offshore sailing. When cruising, injury and illness may occur and access to immediate medical care is often limited.

Cruising has received little attention in the scientific literature. Only two studies have investigated injury and illness among cruisers. One interviewed boaters arriving in Martinique (2001-2002), but only French-speaking sailors were recruited (Rouvillain, Mercky, & Lethuillier, 2008). The other study documented injuries among crew members aboard one catamaran during its passage across the Atlantic Ocean (Luger et al., 2011). No studies have included Pacific Ocean cruisers, nor have ways in which soon-to-be cruisers prepare for offshore voyages been studied.

The Pacific Northwest has a vibrant boating community and is a common hub from which many boats begin long-distance sailing, making it an ideal location to study cruising preparations and injury and illness while sailing.  If you meet eligibility criteria (see details below), you are invited to participate in a research study approved by Seattle University which aims to learn about ways boaters prepare for long-range cruising and the types of injuries and illnesses mariners experience.

Participate and Share your Experiences

WHO IS ELIGIBLE? Adult boaters who are setting sail from the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia or Washington State) to San Francisco, California or beyond between August 1st and November 1st 2015.

WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO? Participation involves completing two online surveys, one before boaters depart the PNW and one after they arrive in San Francisco (all adult crew members may participate). Each survey will take 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

HOW DO I PARTICIPATE? Complete the Pre-Departure Survey. I will follow up with you to complete the second survey after you reach San Francisco.

WHAT’S IN IT FOR ME? Participants will be entered to win one of several $25 Fisheries Supply gift cards (gift cards can be used online).

This study was approved by Seattle University. All information is kept confidential and findings will be discussed collectively, so individuals cannot be identified. Results of this study will be shared with the Blue Water Cruising Association and will be made available to any interested mariners.

This study may be useful for helping future cruisers prepare for offshore sailing by increasing knowledge about common injuries and illness and ways in which to prepare to address those concerns.

If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Mackelprang.

ADDENDUM (August 7):  An update from Jessica:  “Boaters leaving from Washington State, Oregon, or British Columbia may participate and boats bound for San Francisco, Hawaii, or Mexico directly are now being included.”

Rouvillain JL, Mercky F, Lethuillier D. Injuries on offshore cruising sailboats: Analysis for means of prevention. Br J Sports Med 2008;42(3):202-206.
Luger TJ, Peham D, Mayr B, Gromer G, Raab H, Luger MF. Emergency preparedness and long-distance leisure catamaran sailing. Science & Sports 2011;26(3):174-178.


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