RMI supports the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust expedition for another season at the world’s southernmost post office

RMI, which provides specialist services to protect the health and wellbeing of workers in remote and complex sites across the world, provided medical support to this season’s staff working across Antarctica, including Port Lockroy, the world’s southernmost post office – often called the Penguin Post Office.

Now in its second year of partnership, RMI worked with the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT) charity to provide specialist remote medical advice and support services to the team based in Antarctica throughout their five-month posting. The Port Lockroy team were responsible for monitoring the nests, eggs, and chicks of the island’s 1,000-strong gentoo penguin population, operating one of the world’s most remote museums and sorting through over 20,000 letters and postcards that are sent to the Port Lockroy post office during their stay.

This year saw the growth of the RMI service, both in provision and location, to also cover staff working on Detaille Island, the hardest to reach of all UKAHT locations down south. Previously used as a base for mapping, geology and meteorology research, the site receives over 5,000 visitors per year as it remains almost unaltered since its abandonment in 1959, providing a unique historical insight into Antarctica.

The complex Antarctic environment posed a level of risk to the UKAHT staff who had to contend with polar conditions of freezing temperatures, dangerous winds, and operating in a remote location. The expedition was completed with RMI providing remote support with the health, safety, and wellbeing of all Port Lockroy and Detaille Island personnel.

RMI coordinated a successful medical evacuation during the season in accordance with its pre-expedition emergency response plan, overseeing the transfer of a patient from Port Lockroy to Argentina for medical treatment. The patient was able to recover and return to full health. The recent introduction of Starlink allowed for easier communication between UKAHT staff and RMI in the UK, ensuring an effective and efficient operation across continents.

Alex Hammick, Global Operations Director at RMI, said: “The success of another Antarctic support operation on behalf of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust is testament to our ability to develop and deploy bespoke medical solutions in the remotest parts of the world. We are proud to have extended our partnership for another year, with changing conditions each year providing a fresh set of hazards and challenges to evaluate and overcome. Our extensive medical emergency response planning, telemedicine support and full case management of evacuations and follow on medical care, ensured this year’s expedition was completed successfully. We are already working with the team at UKAHT to plan for the upcoming 2024-2025 season and we look forward to continuing this partnership.”

To find out more about RMI, visit: https://rmiglobalsolutions.com/.

UK Antarctic Heritage Trust team members with the RMI flag at Port Lockroy. (CREDIT: UKAHT)
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