This week at the station

This week at Macquarie Island: 16 May 2014

SAR training

The station crew on Antarctic stations need to provide emergency response teams to attend several different types of emergency situations. One of these is search and rescue (SAR) emergencies.

On Macquarie Island, possible SAR emergency situations include rescuing an injured person from a vertical or near vertical slope. This means our SAR team must be trained in the technical aspects of setting up a vertical raise or lower system for a stretcher, and this week our field training officer Ian has been training six of our winter expeditioners in this technique. Initial training was carried out in the comfort of our library and green store, and then culminated in a rescue scenario on North Head.

Five expeditioners setting up a rope retrieval system
SAR training: Chris, Mike, Pete, Graeme and Ryan practice setting up a…
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Five expeditioners in a tight circle peer intently at a rope end.
What knot is that? The SAR training group practice decision making by…
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Expeditioner holds both arms aloft and apart
It was THIS BIG! During a break in training, Graeme told trout…
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Two expeditioners lower stretcher over vertical drop
Ian and Ryan lowering the stretcher in the green store
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Expeditioners being shown how to put a patient on a spinal board
In separate first aid training, doctor Meg provided training in using the…
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Expeditioner is restrained on spinal board
Benny, restrained at last! We finally work out how to slow down…
(Photo: Ivor Harris)

Field training

Senior Bureau of Meteorology weather observer Keon tells the story of his group's field training last week:

Late last week, field training officer (FTO) Ian took Greg, Pete and Keon on their first adventure into the vastness of Macca and its 'five star' huts. The first morning saw Greg sweating it out up Doctors Track, yet after our first break and a barley sugar he turned it around and was powering like a well drilled soldier along Island Lake Track. We all made it to Bauer Bay hut in fine form, however one person did have wet feet. Overnight, a bit of snoring made things a challenge but we all woke up early to beat the wind the next day.

In the morning we headed for Flat Creek and made good time. Greg had a nice spill early on then Keon absolutely ate it at the marsh later in the day, much to Greg's delight! The day progressed and even SES professional Pete had a spill. I think we all had a giggle there, but FTO Ian came out dry as a bone. I think 'Twinkle Toes Ian' has the rare ability to walk over lakes without getting wet - we were confused by this but ploughed on anyway. Pete lead the way down to the 'UFO' googie hut at Brothers Point' Just before getting there Keon had another spill, this time the wind nailed him right in front of the entire crew - everyone had a good laugh here.

After a bit more snoring and some rest in the 'UFO', the final day lead us along the beach with a delightful walk back to station. Thanks to all involved here!

Thanks Keon!

Three expeditioers walking on Macca
Greg, Ian and Pete on field training
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
Three expeditioners walking on Macca
Greg, Ian, Pete
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
Three expeditioners climb a grassy slope
Ian, Pete and Greg climbing the plateau escarpment from Flat Creek
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
Elephant seals on the beach
Elephant seals at Brothers Point
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
King penguins and old hut on the beach
King penguins at Sandy Bay and old abandoned hut
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
King penguins on the beach
King penguins and chicks at Sandy Bay
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
Old penguin and seal digesters on the coast south of station
Old penguin and seal digesters on the coast south of station
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)
Greg and Pete walking in the coastal tussock grass
Greg and Pete walking in the coastal tussock grass
(Photo: Keon Stevenson)

Keeping fit at Macca

Getting around on Macca is all about fitness! Whilst on station, we are all putting considerable time and sweat into our chosen fitness routines. For indoor enthusiasts, there are two small but very well equipped gyms on Macca: a cardio room with running and cycling machines, and a weights training room. Graeme is a very experienced weights trainer and is providing expert advice to others. For outdoor enthusiasts, there is a popular walking circuit going just off station, up Gadget's Gully onto the plateau, and then back to station down Doctor's Track. This takes about one to one and a half hours and passes the small king penguin colony on the beach below Gadget's Gully.
Chef Benny in the weights gym
Chef Benny in the weights gym
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Keon in the weights gym
Keon in the weights gym
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Looking up a steep gully from the beach
The outdoor alternative: up Gadget's Gully to the plateau
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
Looking back down a track from the plateau the station
And then back down Doctor's Track to return to station
(Photo: Ivor Harris)
This page was last modified on 16 December 2010.