Dehydration can have a negative impact on a seafarer's health and can cause or worsen certain diseases. It can also impact a seafarer's ability to be productive at work.

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For this reason, ISWAN's published a hydration toolkit for seafarers, posters with information about the importance of remaining hydrated and a urine colour chart to help seafarers judge whether they need to drink more water.

According to the Hydration Toolkit, the following are signs and symptoms of dehydration:

  • Increased thirst;
  • Decreased urination;
  • Darker colour may indicate dehydration;
  • Dry mouth;
  • Headaches;
  • Dry skin;
  • Dizziness;
  • Weakness;
  • Palpitations;
  • Heartbeat feels like it is jumping and irregular;
  • Lack of sweating;
  • Sluggishness.

In addition, there are certain conditions which may cause rapid fluid loss and lead to dehydration. According to ISWAN, these are:

  • High temperature due to fever;
  • No access to safe drinking water;
  • Injuries to the skin such as burns, skin disease or infections;
  • Too much exercise;
  • Vomiting, diarrhoea and infections;
  • Diabetes.

Of course, there are many things seafarers can do in order to prevent dehydration, such as:

  • On a lazy day, try to drink around two litres of water;
  • Drink a glass of water when you wake up;
  • If you usually drink fizzy drinks, start by replacing just one glass a day with water
  • Ask for water at meal times;
  • Add lemon, lime or orange to hot water instead of drinking coffee;
  • Carry water with you around the ship;
  • If you are exercising or working in a hot environment, stop and have a drink of water every 10 to 15 minutes;
  • Keep a check on the colour of your urine, it should be light in colour and odourless.

Explore more in the following PDF