During the Season
During the Season
Communications and Seasonal Updates
During the season it is important that there are good communications between the IAATO Secretariat and all operators and field staff. In general the IAATO Secretariat will stream all communications, such as seasonal updates via the operator’s office. Only in the case of weekends / holidays or if an immediate problem needs to be resolved will the IAATO Secretariat go direct to the field parties.
Seasonal Updates are circulated during the season. These include notification of any amendments to the contact information, additional or canceled voyages and amendments to the Expedition Leader list and any other newsworthy operational information. Typically these updates will be circulated to Operators and Provisional Operators to pass on to their field operations staff.
It is important that even if your operation is only for a trip later in the season that your field parties get the full suite of updates as the updates do not repeat information. In the event an update needs to be circulated during a weekend or over the Holiday period, the Secretariat will copy in the relevant field parties (e.g. Peninsula ships) to ensure the information is distributed as quickly as possible. If that is the case, the Secretariat will make a note in the covering email.
Emergency and Incident Response
In the event of an emergency, it is important that you notify the IAATO Secretariat as soon as possible. These contact numbers are listed at the beginning of the Vessel, Land-based and Emergency Contact List (EMER) which is distributed to all Operators before the season.
Inside the Field Operations Manual there is an Incident Report Form, found in Section 04 Reports and Checklists. Please have this at hand and use it as a checklist for gathering information as it includes the key information that is asked in the case of an emergency.
Through its experience in dealing with various incidents over the years, the Secretariat will be able to assist you as required (Usually the Environmental & Operations Manager will assist with operational issues and the Communications & Environmental Officer/Administrative Officer will help with press and government liaison).
During an incident, the IAATO Secretariat’s primary objective is to protect the reputation of the Antarctic tourism industry by relaying correct, consistent information to the media and stakeholders in a timely fashion by working cooperatively with all those involved.
Even if you have the benefit of a strong incident response department and do not require assistance from the IAATO Secretariat, it is important to keep the Secretariat in the loop throughout the incident to ensure that press and government handling of the incident is coherent and consistent and also so that the Secretariat can inform the Membership.
Following the conclusion of the incident, the Secretariat will go back to the operator to ask for any “Lessons Learned”, particularly those that might benefit the wider Antarctic community. The relevant IAATO committee will then be asked to review the incident report including any lessons learned and where necessary agree any steps or actions to be taken – such as the revision of guidelines – for the Association.
The Secretariat maintains an internal log of all incidents, related reports and outcomes. Extracts of this internal log are included annually in the IAATO Meeting briefing papers for discussion under the relevant meeting agenda items.