Competent Crew Training (and rescue!):
There are many people at Palmer Station that volunteer to help with research. The marine ecosystem is what many researchers at Palmer Station focus on, so volunteers need to learn how to operate (or help operate) the Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB). Meet Hadar, a small vessel used for marine science. Hadar carries plenty of science equipment (e.g. operating sensors that go in the water or Niskin bottles to take water samples). This vessel is relatively new to Palmer Station (2017). Previously, much of the marine science was done via Zodiacs which was far more cumbersome. From this vessel one can obtain water samples far more efficiently than from a Zodiac, including multiple samples taken at different depths - previously, that took much longer. Also, to catch zooplankton (e.g. krill) Hadar can deploy larger nets compared to a Zodiac. Additionally, on Hadar there is a place to shelter from the cold (in the Zodiac you have nowhere to go).
As part of the training we needed to learn how to bring an unconscious person in the water back on board. Meet Ruth Lee - our manikin, held by Randy (upper left photo). She was tossed today many times in the water by Mike (upper right photo) so we could practice “saving” her using a winch (bottom photos). Poor Ruth. However, in the end, she will help save many lives.
Thank you, Mike Burns, for sharing your expertise today (and tossing Ruth for us)!