Water operations in remote parts of Papua New Guinea.
Pre deployment checks before water operations.
Boats are an essential mode of transport for remote villages that live near the water. You will often see them travelling between coastal villages overloaded with people, and often wonder how it doesn’t sink.
Villagers have been using boats in these parts all their lives, and local knowledge can often be the best source of information when putting together your risk assessment/JSA.
Remember that in some countries what may seem safe to them, might actually be dangerous. Constant assessment and reassessment is the key.
So how does one conduct water operations in the middle of nowhere? Preparation. Risk assessment and constant reassessment until the task is complete. Some of the things to think about might include:
- The mode of transport you are going to be using. Are there enough seats for the team. Are the boats safe (do you need to get an expert in to certify them for safety prior to use)
- The route you expect to take, including any scheduled stops if required.
- The time you expect to reach each checkpoint, and the final destination.
- Highlight any potential extraction points if things go bad.
- Scheduled times to make contact, and how that contact is to be made. (sat/phone, message through an in reach device, radio, etc…)
- What to do if you miss a scheduled call. Do you allow 1 missed call before putting your SAR plan into action? You might be still on the boat and not able to hear/talk on a phone.
- Medication for sea/motion sickness.
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Safety equipment considerations.
- An Epirb
- Inflatable PFD (Personal Floatation Device)
- Satellite phone
- Spare propeller
- Sea ancher
- Water filtration device
- Bailing bucket (for water inside the boat)
- UHF hand held radio for communication between the boats.
- Paramedic kit with appropriate medication
- Manual steering device (long stick)
It’s also a good idea to think about where everything is going to be packed in the boat. It’s no good packing the safety equipment underneath everything incase you need it in a hurry. My medical kit would be no good to me at the front of the boat when I sit at the back.
Last, but by no means least, make sure you have plenty of drinking water and food handy for the trip.
If your thinking about a remote activity, and looking for a medical company that cares about it’s clients safety.
Contact Think Medical Solutions to see how we can help you.