Operations Manager completes epic boat race with defibrillator on board

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Our Operations Manager, Philip Kinsella, was part of a team that took part in an epic boat race in August, and took a defibrillator as an added safety measure.

The crew of eight sailed across the Celtic Sea over five days as part of the Rolex Fastnet Race, and to help safeguard all on board, took the lifesaving device along on the 695 nautical mile trip.

Battling high winds and choppy seas, Philip and the team raced from the Isle of Wight to the southern tip of Ireland, before crossing the finish line near Cherbourg in 18th place in their class of fifty boats.

A defibrillator is a lifesaving device which is placed on a casualty who’s in cardiac arrest. The defibrillator analyses the heart’s activity and delivers a shock if an appropriate rhythm is detected.

While the chance of surviving cardiac arrest is normally around 10%, it increases up to 70% when a defibrillator is used.

Fortunately, there was no need for the team to use their defibrillator during the event, but Philip was still glad of the peace of mind that having it on board brought.

“It was a hard race in tricky conditions.

We weren’t sure how long it would take for help to arrive if anyone became unwell, so having the defibrillator on board gave us peace of mind so we could concentrate on sailing.

Luckily, we were able to finish in a good position without incident!

It was great to have been part of such a prestigious yacht race, and being as safe as possible while doing it.

I can’t imagine doing something like this in the future without a defibrillator on board.”
St John Ambulance Cymru Operations Manager, Philip Kinsella

More information about first aid training including defibrillator training can be found here.

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