Ocean Medicine Course: Meet our expert teaching faculty

We’ve brought together a remarkable teaching faculty for our Ocean Medicine course taking place in Plymouth; a group of world-renowned ocean explorers, sports people and logisticians, all with an amazing depth of experience, and achieving notable success in the face of extreme challenge and adversity. They will be sharing their extensive knowledge and skills to give you a comprehensive understanding of how to lead and provide medical cover in an aquatic environment.

Meet this highly specialised team who will be delivering an unrivalled syllabus of content on our ocean medicine course:

Dr Nick Carter, Doctor and Expedition Yacht Skipper

Dr Nick Carter - WEM facultySince he graduated from medical school in the late 1980s, Nick has pursued his career in musculoskeletal medicine through the British Military. He underwent much of his specialist training in Oxford and also as a research Fellow in Sports Medicine in Vancouver. In the past 10 years, his passion for high latitude sailing has brought an additional enthusiasm for expedition medicine

Nick has always loved sport, whether it be rugby, as a Canadian qualified snowboard instructor or, in the last 20 years, sailing. He has sailed over 60,000nm and across some significant ocean passages including the Southern Ocean around Cape Horn, the Antarctic peninsula on a couple of occasions, the Northwest Passage and various trips to the Arctic. More recently, he has sailed into the Central Arctic Ocean from Alaska to greater than 800 North and also with expeditions including research into elements of ocean advocacy including cetaceans and sea ice.

Dave Pearce, TV and Film Producer and Safety Consultant

Dave Pearce - WEM facultyDave has travelled the globe during his military service of 25 years as a Royal Marine Commando and in his current profession of 14 years, as a television and film producer and safety consultant. He predominantly works with presenters going to extreme, dynamic and hostile locations, including working on approximately 90% of shows presented by Bear Grylls.

He was very proud to serve in the Royal Marine Commandos for over 25 years, seeing operations across the globe including a number in Afghanistan, former Yugoslavia and Northern Ireland. As a Commando he was embedded in many operations during the cold war and has also trained Commandos in tac-tics and specialist warfare as well as combat survival and evasion.

Dave embraces challenges including summiting Everest in 2003, returning again in 2006 as well as being a member of the first successful British ascent of Kangchenjunga, the world’s third highest mountain. He made an early British ascent of El Capitan, joined Bear Grylls as a team of 5, navigating a RIB through the North West Passage and have had many other extreme expeditions. As well as being a published author and a volunteer the Sidmouth lifeboat team.

Laura Penhaul, Physiotherapist and Ocean Rower

Laura Penhaul - WEM facultyLaura Penhaul is passionate about helping teams or individuals to perform at their best and she draws on her extensive experience, both personally and professionally, in high performance sport and expedition.

She was the Team Leader of the Coxless Crew who set 2 World Records in January 2016 rowing unsupported across the Pacific. 9,000nm, taking 9 months to complete and 4 years to prepare for. This remarkable expedition was captured in the documentary “Losing Sight of Shore”.

Laura previously was Lead Physiotherapist for the Paralympic Programme of British Athletics and worked at Vancouver, London and Rio Paralympic Games. Currently she is Lead Physiotherapist for the Olympic British Sailing Team, supporting them through to Tokyo 2020.

In 2017, Laura was the Performance Manager for Mark Beaumont, where she supported him in his preparations and during his World Record achievement of cycling the World in 78 Days. Alongside this, Laura was the Performance Lead for the Adaptive Grandslam, where she has supported the first ever veterans with disabilities to summit the 7 peaks and 2 poles in their Performance preparation.

In her spare time, you’ll find Laura on the North coast of Cornwall, where she’s a RNLI lifeboat crew volunteer and loves to stay active running or swimming on the coastline. 

Beth French, Ocean Swimmer

Beth French - WEM facultyFrom wheelchair bound to world class athlete, Beth French stretches the horizons of her own possibilities, tackling seemingly impossible feats of endurance and adventure. Beth suffered with ME from the age of 10, and by 17 she was in a wheelchair. Overcoming debilitation, she forged a path to ultimate health her own way.

Beth spent 8 years adventuring and studying natural health practices abroad, apprenticing with some of the world’s leading indigenous health practitioners and even spending a year ordained as a Buddhist nun in Thailand.

Over the last 8 years, she has taken on some of the world’s toughest swims, and even charting her own pioneering routes including:

* English Channel
* Molokai Channel
* Cornwall to Isles of Scilly
* Catalina Channel
* Cook Strait
* Straits of Gibraltar

She has recently turned her attention from distance to temperature and swims in waters down to zero degrees, with plans to take on polar swims, without a wetsuit, in the very near future.

* First British woman to swim Molokai channel
* Only woman to swim Molokai Channel twice
* First person to swim Cornwall to Isles of Scilly
* Current joint record holder for most Oceans 7 channels in a single year – 4

Nikki McLeary, Adventure Medicine Business Owner & University Lecturer

Nikki McLeary - Ocean Medicine Course WEM FacultyNikki has a background in Sports Science, Human Performance and Science Publishing previously working with elite extreme athletes such as Vendee Globe sailors and Formula 1 drivers in the areas of sleep, stress, nutrition and fitness.

She then spent 15 years overseas, across multiple locations, operating her own adventure company (winter mountain/desert/ocean). She is the founder of R.R.A.M (a training platform for non-medics to learn life-saving skills for remote travel) and was recently appointed Honorary Senior Lecturer (Sports & Health Sciences) at Exeter University with the purpose of developing training programmes for field scientists operating in challenging environments.

Nikki has numerous published articles in outdoor adventure publications, is a qualified Swiftwater and Flood Rescue Technician, plus keen windsurfer, kitesurfer and sailor. But she isn’t a pirate… yet. Still time!


Grant Walkey, Owner and MD of Trident Training & Consultancy and Paramedic

Grant Walkey, Ocean Medicine Course WEM FacultyGrant Walkey has been involved in search and rescue for over 20 years, specialising in water rescue combining skills as a former firefighter and as an RNLI lifeboat crew, beach lifeguard, and Flood rescue team member and adding advanced skills clinically as a paramedic.

Grant is the owner and managing director of Trident Training & Consultancy which specialises in Rescue, Medical and Safety and also works as a bank paramedic for both SWAST and SCAS ambulance services in Cornwall, Dorset and Hampshire. Grant also teaches for a number of other companies specialising in maritime training and STCW certification.

Grant was a full-time staff member of the RNLI for 11 years serving initially as a sea survival and lifeboat trainer then as a Casualty care trainer and finally as the Clinical Training Manager, managing a team of paramedic trainers delivering the RNLI medical courses.
Grant maintained training others throughout this time for the RNLI but also on the ATACC faculty and for SLSA GB.

Grant maintains his operational rescue skills by also volunteering for his local lifeboat station at Mudeford in Dorset and being on the RNLI Flood rescue team.

Grant shares his knowledge, skills and experience as a consultant and trainer specialising in maritime rescue, safety and medicine wherever he can to help educate to help others or themselves.

Join us in Plymouth; learn with this incredibly experienced and knowledgeable team, and be part of something amazing.
Book your Ocean Medicine Course place today!

Other Ocean Medicine course blogs that may be of interest, include: