Boating Officer – Summer Rothera

Job reference:
BAS 21/18
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
8 months comprised of 3 months UK pre-deployment training (Aug - Oct 2021) and 5 months Antarctic deployment (Nov 2021 – Mar 2022).
£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
Antarctica - Rothera
Closing date:
31 March, 2021 11:59 pm

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


BAS is seeking to appoint a Summer Boating Officer as part of a team running 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 and is experienced in first line maintenance and servicing of RIBs and outboard engines up to 115hp. Dive coxswain experience and the ability to deliver training is desirable but not essential.

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. 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.


Working with the Winter Boat Officers to 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 Advanced Powerboat


• Day-to-day 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 Winter Boat Officer, 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.
• 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 MAXIMO planned preventative maintenance database system.
• Record-keeping of boating activities and running hours.
• Assist with revising boating procedures and risk assessments as required by the Deputy Station Operations Manager.
• Assist in general station duties and domestic tasks on a rota basis, as required by the Station Leader.

Additional duties subject to relevant qualifications and experience:
• Coxswaining of boats for scientific SCUBA diving operations including use of hard-wire communications (where divers are connected to boat via safety lines tended by a member of the marine team).
• Assist the Winter Boating Officers with instruction and training of 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.

Please quote reference: BAS 21/18

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 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 Word - 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]

Numerical ability

  • Microsoft Excel - Essential

Other Factors

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


  • RYA Advanced Powerboat - Essential
  • Yacht Master Coastal - Desirable [3]
  • STCW 95 - Desirable [4]
  • RYA Powerboat Instructor - 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
  • 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
  • Knowledge and initiative to develop the efficiency of the boating operation - Desirable [4]
  • Training of other boat users to coxswain and crew member standards - Desirable [3]
  • Experience of coxswaining or supporting SCUBA diving operations - Desirable [3]

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.