First Aid at Sea is a handy reference that’s small enough to keep nearby for any emergency that might occur aboard. It’s lightweight and extremely easy to use with sturdy tabbed pages, bulleted points, drawings, and charts. It doesn’t focus solely on typical first-aid procedures — such as wounds, broken bones, and CPR — but also provides guidance for illness, hypothermia, drowning, burns, and emergency communications.

“Guidance” has got to be the operative word here, because the entries are brief and to-the-point. This book is not going to give you everything you ever wanted to know about burns, for example, but were afraid to ask. It will, however, get you started in seconds on what to do. You can look up the rest of the story in one of those larger tomes later.

This book may just offer the most appropriate sort of instant-response assistance. If you’re flustered by an unexpected health crisis, this handy little book can help with easy-to-find and easy-to-use notes. For this reason, we’ve put it on our boat.

First Aid at Sea was first printed in England in 1991 and has a British flavor — particularly the part that outlines emergency communication procedures — but it’s mostly about human bodies and keeping them healthy . . . an activity that crosses all communications barriers. It’s a neat little handbook. Just right for taking aboard with you.

First Aid at Sea  by Douglas Justins and Colin Berry (Paradise Cay, 2004;28 pages)