SSI Medic Provides Remote Medical Support for the British Antarctic Survey

SSI Medic

SSI Group has been responsible for the deployment of emergency personnel to some of the most hostile and challenging locations around the world. With a roster of highly qualified, field experienced medics, SSI Group continues to support operations on and offshore during this period of international uncertainty.

Prior to the UK Government’s imposed lockdown, seasoned SSI medic Jon Porter embarked RRS Discovery from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton on a 7-week research exploration supporting the British Antarctic Survey.

His primary task; carrying out offshore medical support for the 47 crew, technicians and scientists onboard .

SSI medic view
A typical view for SSI onboard medics

To conduct scientific operations , the ship travelled south as far as possible ultimately reaching 64º South , crossing nothing but ocean. Operating in such a remote and challenging environment, having a medic onboard is deemed essential due to the complete lack of readily available outside medical support.  For Jon, who is a former Royal Marines Commando and highly experienced operating under unforgiving situations, the risk profile was high but manageable.

The duty of the offshore medic is to provide prolonged care and the best possible management of patients for as long as possible until they can be extracted by helicopter or Royal Navy Vessels with qualified doctors onboard. Fortunately, on this expedition, no such operation was required.

As the scientists onboard deployed scientific sampling  equipment beyond depths of 6000m,  Jon’s time was spent training other personnel in basic and more advanced first aid techniques and exposing them them to aspects of remote medical care that were new to them  As a medic with a diverse set of skills, Jon had to allocate time too to younger personnel experiencing severe sea sickness as well as attending to one minor head injury. Jon also had to monitor the Covid-19 situation closely, keeping an eye on all personnel and making sure everyone onboard was up to date with best practices at the time.

SSI whales
Whales spotted en route

This was another routine expedition for Jon who has operated as a medic under some of the most hostile and dangerous conditions one could expect of a former Royal Marines medic with 21 years of service. After leaving the Corp, Jon went into maritime anti-piracy, looking after ships as they travelled through waters at risk of Somalia pirates, then going on to onshore tasks providing close protection services in places like Kabul.

The RRS Discovery NOC task provided Jon with moments of consideration and appreciation too, where he was able to pay tribute to the fallen at the Royal Marines War Memorial in the Falkland Islands as well as witness whales and dolphins swimming off of South Georgia.

SSI falklands memorial
The Memorial for Royal Marines who served in and around the Falkland Islands

The NOC task and Jon’s successful management of onboard personnel’s health is another example of SSI’s capability to optimise operations for clients in far reaching locations. For more information on how you can access highly valuable medics like Jon Porter, get in touch with us here.

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  1. Pingback: Former Royal Marines Commando and SSI Medic Supports the British Antarctic Survey Offshore - SSI-RM

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