For 45 years and more than one million miles, SEA has thoughtfully and continuously honed its safety policies and procedures to minimize risk to program participants and personnel while achieving programmatic goals. Although SEA takes pride in our safety record, we continuously monitor and assess our training, personnel, policies, and equipment to maintain safety as a priority within our programs and operations. We operate under a philosophy of prevention but prepare for and are capable of a broad spectrum of response.
Safety for all program participants is paramount. The foundation of a successful SEA Semester begins with our medical screening process. All students are required to have a thorough physical examination performed by a licensed medical practitioner within three months of the start of the program. Additionally, we ask that students be exhaustive and forthright in disclosing all pre-existing medical conditions, medications, and medical histories. We do this not to discourage applicants or limit the number of students who can participate in SEA Semester, but rather to best enable our faculty and staff to provide an appropriate learning environment both on shore and at sea. With adequate lead-time, SEA can frequently accommodate a wide variety of medical issues. We will work with every student, on an individual basis to assess whether their participation in an at-sea program can happen safely and effectively.
While on campus in Woods Hole, Student Services staff and the on-site Head Resident are available for minor First Aid as well as transportation to nearby medical facilities. Falmouth Hospital and a nearby walk-in clinic provide additional medical support to our students during their shore component. Once at sea, the ship’s captain and designated medical officer review each student’s medical form, communicating with individuals to stay abreast of student health issues. Both ships maintain 24-hour access to a network of physicians specially trained to provide remote medical care & advice. Our medical response plans include use of MedAire (a subsidiary of International SOS) and Divers Alert Network (DAN)’s TravelAssist program, which arranges emergency medical evacuations for any medical emergency and offers many other medical, travel, and legal benefits. SEA’s DAN membership also allows us access to resources such as Worldcue® PLANNER health, safety, and security briefs, powered by iJET Intelligent Risk Systems, for regions of the globe in which SEA Semester operates.