The Norwegian Center for Maritime and Diving Medicine and GARD have collaborated on a one-of-its-kind international digital medical guide to improve the health and medical care of seafarers onboard ships. 

The Mariners Medico Guide is an innovative app built and designed with seafarers in mind. It offers its users step-by-step instructions and guidance for treating crew onboard and can be used mid-ocean, in remote parts of the ship, and without a phone signal. 

Gard CEO, Rolf Thore Roppestad, said: “The world’s seafarers are the beating heart of global trade, and we need to ensure their safety and wellbeing. That is what this App is all about – investing in every seafarer to ensure that they feel safe and that they get the best possible health care at sea.”

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) fully supported this endeavour. It issued a letter of recommendation to all its seafarer affiliates with Fabrizo Barcellona, ITF Seafarers’ Section Coordinator, stating, “We believe this is a good initiative.”

The free App for all seafarers has been developed and verified by doctors specialising in maritime medicine. It presents its users with a thorough practical symptoms-based approach and step-by-step guidance advising users when and how to get expert medical advice whilst on board. 

In January 2023, the Republic of the Marshall Islands updated their Medical Care Aboard Ship and Ashore guidance, communicating that “A more up-to-date maritime medical guide, such as the Mariners Medico Guide app, developed by Gard and the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine may be substituted for the International Medical Guide for Ships.” 

Access to better healthcare at sea is a matter of life or death for the many men and women living and working across our world’s oceans. Any initiative which promotes and offers access to safe and consistent health care that could potentially save lives is fully supported by Human Rights at Sea. 

Seafarers: You can download the App directly onto your mobile device or PC to ensure full access even when offline. Make sure to be in an area with good mobile coverage when first downloading (approximately 100 MB of content). 



GARD: Headquarted in Norway; GARD focuses on providing the maritime industries with insurance products that offer financial protection and practical assistance when disaster strikes. They insure over 18,000 vessels over 1000GT worldwide. 

Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine

Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine: The Norwegian Centre for Maritime Medicine and Diving Medicine is the national centre of excellence in maritime and diving medicine. It is part of the Department of Occupational Medicine within Helse Bergen. The aim of the Department is to promote the health and welfare of seafarers and divers.

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