Thursday, 9 May 2013

Thursday 9th May 2013

Not a lot happened this morning. I did the usual ARPANSA filter change and sorted out some emails. After smoko we had a video conference with all stations and Kingston which dragged on for about an hour and a half and we had little to contribute this end. After lunch we had a SAR exercise. (Search and rescue) The scenario was Keldyn didn’t show up for breakfast and no one had seen him sins last night so we had to divide into search teams and search the whole station for him. This went on for hours till we found a pack on the sea ice and footsteps leading over to Hump Island and on the far side we found him at the base of a cliff.

We then had to mobilize all our rescue gear and setup all the ropes and equipment to lower a stretcher to retrieve the casualty. By now it was getting late and the sun was going down and the wind had come up to about thirty knots. As I hadn’t had time to dress appropriately as I didn’t expect to be part of the rescue team, I was starting to go down with hypothermia and so were some of the others. I stuck it out as long as I could but decided I had to get back to the station before I became a casualty myself and by the time I got back my hands had gone off and I was in bad shape. I headed straight to the shower to warm my core up and fell asleep shortly after.

Twenty minutes later the rest of the guys staggered in, some also in bad shape including Keldyn. Jeremy had a frost bitten nose and others had hands that had gone off. The exercise was a great success but it also demonstrated how cold you can get and the need to look after yourself first. One of the reasons our hands have been suffering is because we haven’t been supplied with an appropriate selection of gloves as past years have. They also forgot to give us clear lenses for our ski goggles and some of us have better jackets than others. It seems like some things haven’t changed in fifty years.

After dinner the foregn movie was Musta jää (Black Ice) a Finish movie (Drama, thriller) made in 2007 which I thought was great.

Mawson from across the channel at Hump Island

On the sea ice at sunset waiting for the SAR equipment

Setting up the rescue stretcher, main and belay line

 Looks like a good anchor as long as it doesn't roll down and squash the casualty

The sun has set, it's -20c and blowing 30 knots

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