New Auckland-based company Oceania Medical is set to provide all-important medical supplies, training and support for the Kiwi boating community.
Founded by experienced marine professionals Katie Williamson, formerly of MedAire and Yacht Lifeline, and Nick Thorpe, the company fills a market gap left by the recent relocation of MedAire’s medical supplies arm to Australia. Oceania Medical will offer marine specific medical kits and medical supplies whilst also promoting the industry renowned medical training programs offered by MedAire.
Behind the company lies a passion for ensuring Kiwi mariners are prepared should the worst happen when enjoying time on the water. “The right equipment, support and training can mean the difference in preventing a poor outcome should the worst happen,” says Williamson. “Although the reality is that most people will enjoy their boats without incident, simply having a box of drugs and medical items on board is no solution for a medical emergency at sea.”
Oceania Medical’s services include the provision of an organised and logically put together medical kit, tailored to harsh marine environments including immersion in water. Crucially, their team works with yacht owners and crew to train and familiarise them with the kit, ensuring confidence in its use if far from help.
Both Williamson and Thorpe are full of praise for the importance that organisations such as Yachting New Zealand and Coastguard Boating Education place on the safety of sailors. “Boats with both the right medical kits and crew trained in offshore medic courses, such as those offered by Coastguard Boating Education, have the best chance in the event of a medical emergency,” says Thorpe.
“Our goal is now to grow New Zealand-wide to ensure all Yachting New Zealand regulated vessels for CAT 1-5 are aware of the kits and services available to them and provide the best solution for their specific needs.”
Oceania Medical’s offering includes packages for all CAT 1 vessels heading offshore, with the option to subscribe to MedLink, a 24/7 remote medical assistance line that connects to a team of specialist doctors able to provide diagnostics and advice. Should evacuation be required, this can be facilitated through MedLink’s expansive network.
“The main question we want to ask New Zealand’s boating community is ‘would you be prepared if a medical emergency was to happen?” says Williamson. “If the answer is no, we are here to help.”