Nov 1: Boating Training

Post by W&M undergraduate Domi Paxton.

Due to some of our sampling destinations being outside the normal 2-mile boating limit this year, Kim and I were required to participate in additional boating training.

We have the boating limit here at Palmer Station because of the amount of time it takes for help to reach you in the event of an emergency. Inside the normal limits, the Ocean Search and Rescue (OSAR) team can reach you within 10 minutes. However that amount of time lengthens the farther out you are, and extended training allows you to know what to do until help arrives.

For training, Kim and I took turns putting on an immersion suit and jumping overboard into the water to await rescue. For the first jump, the person in the water is conscious and able to help you get them back into the boat. The second time, however, the person in the water pretends to be unconscious and the person rescuing them has to try to get their body as high up out of the water as possible and lash them to the boat with rope or bungee cord. Since it is only Kim and I boating together, we needed to feel prepared to rescue each other and know what to do in that situation.

I feel much more comfortable now driving the boat right up to the overboard victim and getting them onboard. We will both be very focused on staying safe and inside the boat!

After a week of work, we celebrated Halloween at Palmer Station last Saturday. It was really fun to have everyone together and to see just how creative everyone was with their costumes.

Author: David Malmquist

David Malmquist is the Director of Communications at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary.