31 August, 2007 King Edward Point
Muster. Muster! MUSTER!!!! The fire alarm? Not the toaster again!
As all at KEP gathered at the muster point the alarm fell silent. No Fire or drill this time…Olaf our ongoing unbreakable crash test dummy was missing. Andy Barker had sounded the bells to alert us to “Olaf’s” disappearance. This was the Search & Rescue exercise we had all been anticipating. After the briefing, around the dining room table, Andy assigned various tasks to the Base Personnel; here at KEP we are very lucky amongst the team to have individuals with unique rescue and life sustaining skills, which are appropriate to the terrain and environment here in South Georgia.
Jennifer Lawson & Andy Barker – Comms & Rescue Co-ordinators. Melanie D’Souza – Doctor.
Gareth Wale, Charlie Main – Pulk Rescue and Support.
Anjali Pande & Martony Vaughan – Cliff Rescue and Mountaineering advisors
Charles Swift & Andrew Chase – Search & Rescue.
Sarah Lurcock – Pulk Support & catering.
Charles & Andrew set off after the briefing towards Hope Point to locate Olaf with medical supplies. On locating Olaf they administered initial medical treatment and relayed the situation to Andy Barker who co-ordinated the rescue from a central point. This sent Anjali & Martony into action to set up ropes to stretcher Olaf up a cliff face. Gareth & Charlie gathered the Pulks and headed towards the cliff where Olaf would be transferred to a Pulk. Meanwhile, Jennifer and Andy were communicating with Cambridge to inform of the rescue attempt in progress. On Olaf’s arrival at the surgery, Melanie examined him and treated him for a broken leg. He’s now made a full recovery and is safely back home hanging up in the Boatshed.
A successful rescue with a team effort seeing Olaf rescued from the bottom of a cliff, between Hope Point and Sooty Bluff.
This month saw Team Fish- Anjali, Charlie & Jenn, head out on their annual Science cruise on the Dorada Fisheries research ship. Leading the team was Mark Belchier and Martin Collins. (So to send them off Gareth and Andrew dug out the snow drifts to erect the KEP BBQ.) Their 3 week cruise took them to the Falkland Islands with conducting Science trawls back to KEP. Their days started with circuit training on the deck, eating fine food (mostly the catch) and drinking copious amounts of tea. Mark and Martin demonstrated various techniques using the roll and pitch of the ship to perform super human standing jumps!!
Back on base, with Team Fish out of the way it was time to knuckle down to our little SECRET!! During the build up to Team Fish heading out, unbeknown to them, Mel & Gareth had secretly been scripting this years epic- There’s Something about Olaf! (Our Base Movie) We had three weeks to complete KEP’s first murderous thriller. Everyone on base playing a part- themselves. Mel & Gareth were hard at work tapping away at terminals, evolving the plot, which would ultimately have Team fish arriving back to a deserted base (only in movie land though). With Gareth & Mel directing/ producing, we were all written into the script. The evenings were taken up with filming and for Andy Barker and myself editing the final cuts. We now had 2 days to go when suddenly: I was sat in the office at the time when I heard a shriek from outside in the corridor!!! “Team fish are on their way back” When do they arrive-THIS AFTERNOON!!!!
Gareth and Mel hit the script again, pulling off a great feet, completely changing the ending, which was filmed in two hours. As soon as we were reunited with Anjali, Charlie & Jenn, hugs exchanged in the welcome rush and Team fish heading to their rooms Charles, Martony and Gareth headed out in Quest on our trusty Dotty dingy to film the in- between bits. The film was premiered at a Hollywood theme night in the bar, with a big surprise for Anjali, Charlie and Jenn. Welcome back!!
Sadly our peaceful sanctuary here at KEP had its darkest hour …..Murder…..Gareth and our new guest, Mike ( Fisheries Officer- South Africa) organised a murder mystery evening with Mike and Mel treating us all to a fantastic, lip slapping 3 course dinner. Over the course of the evening, no one could be trusted. Someone had committed a murder. Through everyone posing questions to one another the villain was soon to be flushed out!! In fact to soon, the pressure was too much. Jumping up into the air our villain screamed “I am the murderer!!” We all looked at each other- we still had 3 pages to go in the booklet! Fantastic night though with everyone dressing up and playing the part- Thanks Mike your African marinaded steaks were superb!!
What a month August has been, the snow has really settled now, the team have been skiing regularly around KEP and up into the hills. We are very lucky here….
Our navel friends from HMS Dumbarton Castle hunted down Charlie our resident snowboarder. Charlie guided the chaps to some of the best snowboarding runs around KEP. Sadly, it was to be the last time that the Dumbarton Castle would visit South Georgia as she was to be decommissioned and her replacement The Clyde, a newly commissioned ship would take her place.