Each season a new crew is prepared and trained to go to Antarctica to relieve the winter crew who have just completed a year on station.
Prior to departure for the new expeditioners there is a need to train and prepare them for the year ahead.
Naturally there is the traditional classroom training and many topics are covered like environmental issues and leadership. But, it is the specialist hands-on training that excites the new expeditioners. Imagine spending nearly a week on the beautiful Hobart harbour (Tasmania) learning to be a competent crew member on the inflatable rubber boats (IRBs). Although, it’s not all fun especially when you have to go overboard into the cold water to practice rescue techniques. The water in Hobart must surely be warmer than in Antarctica!
Quad bikes and Hägglunds vehicles are the mainstay of vehicular ground travel in Antarctica so expeditioners are given introductory lessons in their use and safety. This training is mandatory but is then continued once they arrive at station. It is difficult to simulate Antarctic conditions in Hobart. To learn how to use a snow groomer in Antarctica, some of the incoming winter diesel mechanics travelled to the Victorian snowfields to gain the experience.
Fire training is an essential course that all wintering expeditioners must attend and obtain the skills required should there be a fire on station. This training is very realistic and the expeditioners learn how to use breathing apparatus, fire hoses, fire extinguishers, use fire pumps and much more.
There are many other courses and skills taught throughout the pre-departure training and they include forklift driving, heavy machinery, chainsaw, and hydroponics courses.
The new Casey crew is looking forward to an exciting year and providing some great photographs and stories of the year ahead.
Tradition still exists on the Antarctic station and each year the new crew also design a logo that represents their year. This year’s logo was designed by Ben Way, the winter electrician. The logo will feature predominately on the year social merchandise like t-shirts and stubby holders.