Over two thirds of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, and as the human race looks to embark on new challenges and experiences, we often look to sea for the most extreme adventures.
Of course, any significant marine journey will take people far from the nearest hospitals and emergency services, and in this isolated situation a particular set of skills is required to stay safe.
From 7 to 10 May 2018 in Plymouth, Devon, a group of medics and oceanic explorers from around the world will undertake an ocean-specific medicine course so that they can keep people safe in the rapidly growing world of oceanic sports and adventure travel.
The course will give participants an understanding of conditions likely to occur whilst on a marine based expedition, oceanic sporting event or pan-ocean sailing expeditions.
Putting together the course, World Extreme Medicine consulted with world-renowned ocean explorers, divers, pan-ocean sailors, rowers, open water swimmers and its own expedition experts to create a unique and comprehensive syllabus.
On the course, participants will learn from World Extreme Medicine’s Ocean Medicine Team, a group of seasoned experts who bring together over a century of collective experience.
Mark Hannaford, who grew up in Plymouth, is the founder of World Extreme Medicine with over 30 years expedition experience and a small boat specialist, with 15 years’ experience in areas such as Antarctica, the Russian Far East, the British Isles, the Seychelles and Madagascar.
Dr Alex Rowe is an RNLI Helmsman, a role in which he was awarded a Pride of Britain Award. He is also a British Association of Immediate Care responder and experienced expedition medic.
Dr Claire Bailey was a member of the all-female Round the World Race crew with Tracy Edwards. She has worked as an on-board doctor for adventurer Steve Fossett with the catamaran Playstation/Cheyenne, which survived dismasting in Southern Ocean and was adrift for 10 days and under tow for further week.
Catherine Buckland is a commercial diver and dive instructor who has spent the last decade working in the marine industry, either working as a diver or diver medic, teaching diving or power boating among other marine based qualifications. This work is varied and takes her to challenging environments where all the skills and experience need to be put in place.
Chris Booker is a marine biologist and offshore commercial diver. He has over 20 years’ experience working in a diverse range of marine environments, from the Caribbean to the Atlantic and the North Sea. He also teaches maritime courses, skippers boats and works as a dive medic technician.
Laura Penhaul is a former lead physiotherapist with Team GB Paralympic Athletics, and was lead for the record breaking ‘Coxless Crew’ row of the Pacific.
Mark Hannaford said, “We’ve pulled together a team with a wide range of specialisms and experiences because the world’s oceans – and the medical conditions that we have to prepare for – vary so much.
“Our aim is to combine lectures, workshops and discussions with hands-on experiences on land and at sea to give course participants insight into the things that can go wrong when diving, ocean rowing, swimming or sailing.
“The UK, and Plymouth especially, has a proud history of oceanic exploration and we’re certainly still a world leader in terms of maritime expertise. The fact that we’ve been able to pull together such a diverse but experienced team is testament to this country’s seafaring past.”
The course runs from 7 to 10 May 2018 and costs £995. During the course delegates will train and be assessed for the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Level 2 Powerboat Handling qualification.