Boating Officer – South Georgia

Job reference:
BAS 21/20
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Wintering role at KEP station is approximately 15 Months (Sept 2020 to Dec 2021).
£24,685 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
King Edward Point Research Station, Antarctica (South Georgia)
Closing date:
31 March, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


The two BAS Boating Officers at King Edward Point (KEP) station are responsible for the boating operation in support of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. This will include fishery vessel inspections and boating support for government and science projects. You should have excellent sea-borne skills as a coxswain on both RIBs and jet drive boats, experience in a training role and have good customer liaison skills. Just as importantly the applicants should be experienced in dealing with a wide range of maintenance and repairs on jet driven harbour launches and rigid inflatable boats.

At KEP you will carry out a variety of boating support tasks, these will primarily be passenger and equipment transfers. In addition, you will also provide a standby local search and rescue boating capability, boat crew training and will enable recreational boating opportunities for your colleagues. Working in sometimes difficult conditions you will get to experience and work amongst the stunning coastal alpine scenery of South Georgia and have an opportunity to observe whales, penguins and seals that inhabit this amazing environment. If you are an experienced boat handler with a love of the sea and are after a different and truly unforgettable boating job, this could be the role for you.

Who we are

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Our 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 our 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 keep the 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 one of the most unique places in the world, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.

COVID-19 update

  • We have a responsibility to do everything that we can to ensure that BAS Ships and Stations remain COVID free and that staff are deployed safely and responsibly. Our medical screening for this season will therefore take account of the recognised factors that increase your risk of an adverse reaction to the coronavirus (Primarily this is BMI at or above 30, age over 60 years old, or a history of smoking). The assessment is done confidentially by our Medical Unit and the criteria might be subject to change.
  • You might be required to quarantine two weeks prior to your deployment, and you might sail to Antarctica on our polar ship.

All applications will be checked at point of application by BAS staff and those without the right to work in the UK or without a realistic prospect of being able to acquire the right to work in the UK will not progress.

Please read the Applicants guide here before submitting your application.


To manage, operate and maintain the small boats used in support of the Government of South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands.


  • RYA Powerboat Instructor
  • RYA Advanced Powerboat


  • Day to day management of the boating fleet. The tasking will be related to weather conditions and various priorities in order to support the government and scientific work at KEP research station.
  • Coxswain two 10.5m jet drive harbour launches. These have rigid aluminium hulls and are driven by two Yanmar 315 bhp diesel engines and twin Hamilton jet drives.
  • Coxswain two 5.5m Humber Destroyer RIBs with twin Evinrude 40 bhp engines. These are mainly used for beach landings.
  • Advise the Station Leader and Government Officers on safety issues associated with boating operations.
  • Carry out regular planned maintenance on diesel engines, outboard engines, Hamilton jet drives and checks on boat comms equipment.
  • Carry out minor and major repair work on the boats. This may include various mechanical and electrical repairs on the boat engines and systems, glass fibre hulls and sponson repairs.
  • Instruct and train other station staff through a defined training syllabus. This will be through a series of theoretical and practical exercises including launch and recovery, boat handling skills, seamanship, search and rescue techniques and navigation using GPS, chart plotter and radar.
  • Ensure that annual boating spares stock take, inventory and orders take place through the AMOS database system.
  • Provide a monthly boating activity and running hours report.
  • Produce an annual KEP station boating report.
  • Assist with revising boating procedures and risk assessments as required by the Station Operations Manager.
  • Assist in general station rotas including cooking, cleaning, station watch rounds, as required by the Station Leader.

Please quote reference: BAS 21/20

Publication date: 8 January 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 27 and 28 May 2021

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.

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

Communication skills

  • Fluent in spoken English language - Essential
  • Good written skills in order to communicate by email and to produce monthly boating reports - Essential
  • Excellent radio communications skills - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Microsoft Word - Essential
  • Microsoft Excel - Essential
  • Previous use of databases primarily in a planned preventative maintenance (PPM) package. - Desirable [2]

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
  • Experience of working in a contractor type environment where customer service skills are key - Essential
  • Ability to understand the needs of different boat user groups, including scientists, and support them in their work - Essential
  • Ability to work unsupervised and be self-driven - Essential

Other Factors

  • Outboard engine maintenance and basic repairs. - Essential
  • Diesel engine maintenance and repairs - Essential
  • Inflatable and glass reinforced plastic (GRP) repairs - Essential
  • Hamilton jet drive repairs (Note: a course may be available if not experienced). - Desirable [1]


  • RYA Powerboat Instructor - Essential
  • RYA Advanced Powerboat - Essential
  • GMDSS General Operators Certificate (GOC) - Desirable [2]
  • STCW 95 - Desirable [3]

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
  • Applicant must have sound judgement of prevailing maritime conditions with ability to convey to others, confident and conservative decisions based on these assessments - Essential
  • Knowledge and initiative to develop the efficiency of the boating operation. - Desirable [2]
  • Able to plan and deliver boating operations in a safe and efficient manner - Essential
  • Must have competent navigation skills using manual and electronic methods - Essential
  • VHF radio communications skills - Essential
  • Experience in delivering boat safety briefs to boat crew and passengers - Essential
  • Experience of transferring people at sea from vessel to vessel through use of pilot ladders - Essential

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:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+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.