Rescue at Sea in Grytviken
This is another expedition ship that we had seen as we entered Haakon Bay days earlier. They were just leaving as we were arriving. It is the only other ship I saw on the entire trip. Somewhere on this ship is a 61 year old man named Brian, who would within days, fall during one of their landings, breaking his pelvis in two places. Since his ship was heading onto Antarctica, and ours was headed to the Falklands, where he could receive great medical attention, Brian was transferred via zodiac to the Explorer. The transfer took place at 10:30 in dark and freezing waters. He was lowered by stretcher into the zodiac and taken on shore at Grytviken where we had remained for the transfer after finishing our day touring the site. Since our ship had an open bridge policy, I was able to watch with binoculars and listen to the walkie-talkie communications while they made the transfers. The doctor from his ship and the doctor from ours worked with our expedition leaders during the night. First, Brian was brought on shore at Grytviken where there were x-ray machines placed there during the Falkland's War. The transfer was challenged a bit because there were seventeen elephant seal weaners taking over the landing ramp. It was amazing to watch and listen to the expert handling of the situation and care given to Brian by the crew of the Explorer. At 1:30 AM, Brian was aboard the Explorer, and we began our sail to the Falkland Islands. The next day a beautiful Antarctica calendar was signed by everyone, welcoming Brian aboard and wishing him a speedy recovery.
We thought the drama was over- but we were wrong!!!