Curing seasickness with suppositories

Published on November 18th, 2023

When it comes to seasickness, some people are luckier than others with the ailment, but even the hardiest have fallen to this illness. The condition can feel like death but rarely does it escalate to that stage, but for one person on the 2023 Salty Dog Rally to the Caribbean, that was what occurred.

Donald Street, the ultimate seaman at 93 years of age, provides advice to avert disaster:

To die by seasickness is likely due to severe dehydration, which I can’t help but wonder whether it could have been prevented if the ship’s medical kit had motion sickness suppositories.

The late Dr. Paul Potter, who started sailing with me in the 1960s, had about 35 years ago gave me some anti-seasick suppositories. When a crew member gets seasick, really seasick, not only are they useless as a crew but in danger of dying from dehydration.

None of the seasick remedies will work at this state as they keep coming up, but as a suppository is given up the backside, it dissolves into the bloodstream. This stops the vomiting and gets the crew member functioning in an amazingly short time.

I speak from experience as four different times through the years, I had a crew that became severely dehydrated through seasickness, but with a suppository up the bum, the vomiting stopped, and in 4 to 6 hours, improved to being a useful crew, and 8 to 10 hours was completely recovered.

For over 30 years, in every lecture I have given on preparing for offshore passages, and in every article I have written on the subject, I have recommended that all boats carry motion sickness suppositories in the medical kit. You hope they will never be needed, but when the situation arises, they can be a real lifesaver… literally.

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