Boating Officer – Rothera – Summer

Job reference:
BAS 20/02
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
7 months comprised of 2 months UK pre-deployment training (Sept - Oct 2020) and 5 months Antarctic summer deployment (Nov 2020 – Mar 2021).
£24,272 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
We offer generous benefits
British Antarctic Survey
Cambridge and Rothera Research Station, Antarctica.
Closing date:
31 March, 2020 11:59 pm


British Antarctic Survey is offering a unique opportunity as a Boating Officer in Antarctica.

What is it about?

BAS is seeking to appoint a Summer Boating Officer to run small boat operations at Rothera Research Station on the Antarctic Peninsula, in support of marine and terrestrial biology in the surrounding area.
The ideal candidate has excellent sea-borne skills as a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) coxswain, dive coxswain experience and the ability to deliver training. Applicants should be experienced in basic first line maintenance and servicing on RIBs and outboard engines up to 115hp.

Boating officers at Rothera conduct a variety of boating support tasks including water sampling, dive support, transfers to and from local islands, and search and rescue (SAR) cover. An additional responsibility includes enabling recreational boating opportunities for colleagues on station.
Working in sometimes difficult conditions, boating officers experience the stunning coastal scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula with the privilege of observing the penguins, seals and whales that inhabit this amazing environment.

For the experienced boat handler with a passion for the sea, this role offers a different and truly unforgettable boating opportunity.

Who we are

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic, work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs. British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation

We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as to keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


To manage, operate and maintain small boats at the station in order to support a variety of scientific and operational remits. These include water sampling, deployment and retrieval of scientific instruments, diving operations, SAR cover and transporting researchers to local islands. Boating officers also assist in the station recreational programme by taking colleagues on boat trips exploring the local area and observing wildlife.


RYA Powerboat Instructor and RYA Advanced Powerboat.


• Day-to-day management of the boating fleet. Tasking will be related to weather conditions and various priorities in order to support the scientific and operational work at Rothera Research Station.
• Working alongside the dive officer, marine biologist, marine assistant and visiting scientists to plan boating and SCUBA diving activities in support of scientific research and station operations.
• Coxswain each of the 5 RIBs, ranging from 6m to 7.5m in length, all with outboard engines.
• Advise the Station Leader on safety issues associated with boating operations.
• Carry out regular planned maintenance on boats, trailers, outboard engines and checks on boat communications equipment.
• Fault find and carry out repair work on boats as required, which may include boat engines and systems, glass fibre hulls and sponsons.
• Instruct and train other station staff through a defined training syllabus. This is delivered through a series of theoretical and practical exercises including launch & recovery, boat handling skills, seamanship, search & rescue techniques and navigation using GPS etc.
• Coxswaining of boats for scientific SCUBA diving operations using hard-wire communications (where divers are connected to boat via safety lines tended by a member of the marine team).
• Provision of marine search and rescue cover, including training of station members and creation of SAR duty rotas.
• Ensure that boating spares stock-take, inventory and orders take place through the AMOS planned preventative maintenance database system.
• Record-keeping of boating activities and running hours.
• Produce an annual Rothera Research Station boating report.
• Assist with revising boating procedures and risk assessments as required by the Deputy Station Operations Manager.
• Assist in general station rotas including cooking/cleaning as required by the Station Leader.

Please quote the following reference for any queries: BAS 20/02
Closing date for receipt of applications form is: 31 March 2020
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 8 and 9 June 2020

As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.

Antarctic deployment involves working in a remote and harsh environment where adaptations to working, living and recreation areas are not achievable to a level that might be expected in the UK. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement to be physically capable of negotiating rough, icy and snowy terrain as well as being mentally resilient and medically fit.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Boat maintenance and repair

  • Outboard engine maintenance and basic repairs - Essential
  • Inflatable and glass reinforced plastic (GRP) repairs - Essential

Communication skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
  • Good oral skills especially with regard to radio communications - Essential
  • Good written skills to produce periodic reports - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel) - Essential
  • Previous use of databases primarily in a planned preventative maintenance (PPM) package - Desirable [4]

Interpersonal skills

  • Able to work and live in a remote and isolated community, including involvement in communal tasks such as cleaning and cooking - Essential
  • Must be a good team player and considerate to others - Essential
  • Ability to understand the needs of scientists and supporting them in their research - Desirable [3]


  • RYA Powerboat Instructor - Essential
  • RYA Advanced Powerboat - Essential
  • Yacht Master Coastal - Desirable [3]
  • STCW 95 - Desirable [4]

Resource Management ability

  • Use of boats in a cost–effective manner which reduces mechanical wear and tear and gives due consideration to reducing fuel consumption - Essential
  • Management of indented spares and stores and participation in advising on future boating part purchases - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Extensive small boat handling experience in coastal waters in a professional capacity - Essential
  • Competent navigation skills using manual and electronic methods - Essential
  • VHF radio communications skills - Essential
  • Ability to work unsupervised and be self-driven - Essential
  • Sound judgement of prevailing sea & weather conditions with ability to convey confident and conservative decisions based on these assessments - Essential
  • Able to plan and deliver boating operations in a safe and efficient manner - Essential
  • Experience in delivering boat safety briefs to boat crew and passengers - Essential
  • Training of other boat users to coxswain and crew member standards - Essential
  • Experience of coxswaining or supporting SCUBA diving operations - Essential
  • Knowledge and initiative to develop the efficiency of the boating operation - Desirable [4]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.