Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Watch out for that boom: With the America's Cup destination decided, timely study identifies sailing injuries

Date:
January 10, 2011
Source:
Lifespan
Summary:
Just as the site for the 2013 America's Cup has been announced, a new study highlights that the sport isn't always smooth sailing. Through an on-line survey completed by sailors, researchers have pieced together a report of the injuries that occur on two types of boats -- dinghies (small boats with crews of one or two) and keel boats (larger boats like those used in the America's Cup races with a crew of up to 16).

Just as the site for the 2013 America's Cup has been announced, a study from Rhode Island Hospital highlights that the sport isn't always smooth sailing. The study was published recently in the journal Wilderness and Environmental Medicine.

Related Articles


Through an on-line survey completed by sailors, researchers at Rhode Island Hospital have pieced together a report of the injuries that occur on two types of boats -- dinghies (small boats with crews of one or two) and keel boats (larger boats like those used in the America's Cup races with a crew of up to 16).

With a total of 1860 respondents, there were a total of 1715 injuries reported, with 79 percent of the sailors reporting at least one injury in the prior 12 months. Of the injuries reported, a large majority (71 percent) occurred on keel boats. The most common types of injuries on both keel boats and dinghies were contusions, lacerations and sprains. On keel boats, the upper and lower extremities accounted for 78 percent of all injuries, with another 11 percent occurring on the trunk. For dinghies, the upper and lower extremities again were most commonly injured sites, while the head and neck also accounted for 12 percent of the injuries.

The study, led by emergency medicine physician Andrew Nathanson, MD, of Rhode Island Hospital, found the most common causes of the injuries were trips and falls, being hit by an object, or being caught in the lines. The "objects" most frequently cited were the boom, spinnaker pole, sail clew (bottom rear corner) and collisions with fellow crew members. Tacking and jibing maneuvers also played a role in about a third of the injuries on both dinghies and keel boats. The most commonly cited activities that preceded the injury were crossing from one side of the boat to the other during a tack, changing the sails, operating a winch and steering.

Nathanson says, "It's important to note that nearly half of the injuries reported were minor and required no treatment. Only four percent of the injuries were considered serious, and resulted in evacuation from the vessel and/or hospitalization." Twenty-six percent of the injured sailors reported receiving first aid onboard while 33 percent sought medical care after the injury (although these groups are not mutually exclusive).

Of the 70 most serious injuries reported, 25 percent were fractures, 16 percent were torn tendons or cartilage, 14 percent were concussions and 8 percent were dislocations. The majority of severe injuries were to the head, knee, leg and arm. Three eye injuries were also reported that resulted in permanent loss of vision. Heavy weather was considered a contributing factor in 36 percent of the severe injuries.

Nathanson says, "What is most alarming about this survey is the fact that only 30 percent of the sailors who responded reported wearing a life jacket. According to the United States Coast Guard, two thirds of recreational boating deaths are caused by drowning. Lifejacket use rates can be increased not only by education but also by improving the aesthetics and comfort of jackets, and by enforcing use at regattas and sailing schools."

Also of note, seven percent of the injured sailors reported that they consumed alcohol within two hours of sustaining an injury. Nathanson says, "While the effects of alcohol are dose-dependent, even low levels of alcohol use while boating is a potential problem."

Nathanson reports that the survey also indicates falls while on board boats can likely be reduced by improved footwear and better anti-skid deck surfaces, less cluttered and more ergonomic deck layouts and adherence to the sailing maxim "one hand for the boat, and one hand for yourself." The researchers also recommend protective head gear, padded spars and higher boom clearance as potential changes that can reduce sailing injuries.

Also of concern in the results of the survey is that 16 percent of the sailors reported having suffered a sunburn while sailing in the year prior. Nathanson says, "Sunscreen utilization was low, particularly in sailors less than 30 years old. Focused educational interventions should be developed aimed at sailors, particularly those in the younger age group, in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Participants in water sports have been shown to be at increased risk of skin cancer because of their prolonged exposure to solar radiation."

The study was funded by the Bonnell Cove Foundation. Nathanson is an associate professor at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and also a physician with University Emergency Medicine Foundation. Other researchers involved in the study with Nathanson include Janette Baird, PhD and Michael Mello, MD, MPH, of Rhode Island Hospital's Injury Prevention Center and Alpert Medical School.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lifespan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Andrew T. Nathanson, Janette Baird, Michael Mello. Sailing Injury and Illness: Results of an Online Survey. Wilderness & Environmental Medicine, 2010; 21 (4): 291 DOI: 10.1016/j.wem.2010.06.006

Cite This Page:

Lifespan. "Watch out for that boom: With the America's Cup destination decided, timely study identifies sailing injuries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104141406.htm>.
Lifespan. (2011, January 10). Watch out for that boom: With the America's Cup destination decided, timely study identifies sailing injuries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104141406.htm
Lifespan. "Watch out for that boom: With the America's Cup destination decided, timely study identifies sailing injuries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110104141406.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

Kids Die While Under Protective Services

AP (Dec. 18, 2014) As part of a six-month investigation of child maltreatment deaths, the AP found that hundreds of deaths from horrific abuse and neglect could have been prevented. AP's Haven Daley reports. (Dec. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins