Helicopters reach Davis station with additional medical support

Aerial view of Davis station.
Aerial view of Davis station. (Photo: Frederique Olivier)

1 November 2008, 12.30 pm

In Antarctica, helicopters have now flown a doctor and additional lay medical staff into Davis station to assist with the care of an expeditioner injured early last week.

After more than a week battling bad weather and heavy sea ice the Australian Antarctic research and resupply ship Aurora Australis is now about six nautical miles off Davis.

Weather conditions eased very late yesterday enabling two helicopters from the ship to transfer a support team to the station.

They are now assisting with the care of injured expeditioner, Dwayne Rooke, from Devonport in Tasmania, who remains in a serious but stable condition.

The Director of the Australian Antarctic Division Dr Tony Press said: "It's a huge relief to have some additional medical support on station to assist the team which has been doing so well over the past week and a half."

They will now care for Mr Rooke and begin preparations for his evacuation to specialist medical care.

"We are continuing to look at a range of options on just how that will happen," Dr Press said.

Mr Rooke, 31, sustained multiple fractures after a quad bike accident on Monday 20 October.

He was on a field trip to Trajer Ridge, around 25 km from Davis when he came off the quad. He sustained serious injuries including multiple fractures and received medical treatment at the scene before being transported back to the station by Hägglunds overland vehicle.

Mr Rooke was due to return to Australia in mid-November after a 12-month stint in Antarctica as the chef at Davis station.