TECHNIQUE Bomata overhead. What to do not to make the situation worse

Sailor Luca Sabiu initiated a survey via whatsapp by contacting more than 80 boaters and asking them a specific request: “Tell me the top two boating maneuvers or emergencies at sea that, especially if you are in a small crew, lead you to a stressful situation.” The responses came in copiously, and Luca decided to address for us all the situations indicated by the sailors surveyed, showing how to handle them safely and calmly: in this first installment, he explains what to do in case of a bombata on the head while sailing on the high seas.


1. You are sailing upwind wide, the boat enters a wave, and due to the rotation of the wind a crew member at that moment standing in the cockpit takes a strong bombing in the head resulting in altered consciousness and an open wound (loss of lucidity, memory, etc.).

2. It is first necessary to stop the boat: put yourself in the hood so that you can handle the emergency. Analyze the condition of the injured person to understand whether there is a risk to life and therefore need for immediate rescue.

3. In case there is no imminent danger to life retrieve the shipboard pharmacy and secure the casualty (in the cockpit so that you can medicate, monitor and tranquilize him).

4. Change your course to the nearest port and launch via VHF (channel 16) a Pan Pan with your position, description of the incident, ETA (estimated time of arrival) to the nearest port.

5. Also by VHF ask to be put in touch with CIRM (International Radio Medical Center, +39 0659290263) for medical directions for the management of the casualty. However, request an ambulance ready when you arrive.


– In an “overincident,” skipper centrality makes all the difference
– Do not be afraid to change routes to ensure the safety of the injured person
– The injured person needs to feel that the commander is empathetic to him or her but determined to resolve the situation

Luca Sabiu, 44, born in Milan, a “citizen of the sea by adoption” since the age of 5. Recreational vessel captain, YeM Federazione Italiana Vela (FIV) Federal Sailing Instructor, professional oceanic and solo sailor, and longtime frontline for sea safety awareness. He collaborates with the Living Sail Nautical School(, heading the Master Sail excellence team: his training courses aim to create autonomous and responsible sailors. He will show us, in this and future installments, the secrets of performing even in difficult conditions many maneuvers that are essential for navigation.




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