Medics assist Velux 5 Oceans
A specialist medical team are to support the Velux 5 Oceans race. Medical Support Offshore (MSOS), is a team of experienced doctors trained in dealing with emergencies at sea. The team, comprising of founder Dr Spike Briggs, Dr Tommo Tomson and Dr Campbell Mackenzie, have worked on some of the toughest races in the world including the Volvo Ocean Race, the Artemis Transat and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. They have also provided support to the biggest names in offshore racing including Dee Caffari, Brian Thompson, Sam Davies and Pete Goss.
“At any point at sea during the race, if the skippers have a medical problem, or even just want to chew things over, we are on the end of the telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” explained Dr Briggs. “This level of personal support has been transformed by the revolution in communication during the past 20 years or so. In case of injuries or other problems, the skippers can even send us photos which are a great help in targeting advice.
“We aim to be proactive in helping skippers to be as race-ready as possible, and to be reactive in helping them with any medical problems that will inevitably crop up from time to time. Our role could be seen as one of risk minimisation. Risk cannot be eradicated from deep ocean sailing, but it can be controlled, and consequently I think taking a responsible approach to ocean sailing is imperative. Medical support is part of responsible preparations, and in the event of an accident, it enables proper assessment of injured or sick crewmen, thus committing Search and Rescue resources only when they are really needed.”
Each of the skippers will undergo an intense two-day training programme from the MSOS doctors, all experienced offshore sailors themselves, where they will be taught how to use the medical kits provided to them as well as the physical skills they will need when at sea. All seamen going offshore need to know what to do in the case of a medical emergency – but for the skippers, they must face the prospect of performing the skills they have learnt on themselves.
The MSOS team will also provide the Velux 5 Oceans with the design of the race medical kit, advice on medical preparation of the skippers, and tele-medical support for the duration of the race.
More information about MSOS can be found here: