Emergency: Seasickness

Seasickness is a form of motion sickness characterized by a feeling of nausea and, in extreme cases, vertigo.

It is typically brought on by the rocking motion of the vessel on the water. When at sea, our ears tell us that we are moving, however our sight (when focused on something) suggests that we are stationary.

Some people are more vulnerable to seasickness, while others seem to be immune.


Common symptoms include:

  • Headache;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Vertigo;
  • Pale, cool, moist skin;
  • Weakness or dizziness;
  • Cold sweat; and
  • Increased saliva.


You can take the following steps to help minimize the symptoms of seasickness:

  • Consume over the counter prescription medications and ginger tablets for motion sickness, which are
    considered effective in preventing motion sickness. Though effective, drugs are not without potential
    side effects such as drowsiness and dry mouth;
  • Stay cool and wear a hat, as heat and sun exposure can intensify the effects of seasickness; and
  • Move to the boat’s center of gravity, which may eliminate some of the motion.


Seasickness generally diminishes with time as the body’s inner ear balance system gets used to the moving
and rocking motion of the vessel. Seasickness is not a life threatening disease, and once the person is back on
solid ground, it will go away quickly.