Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Antarctica: Art of Survival

During our pre-induction training at Maitri we were given a series of lectures and demonstrations on how to avoid dangers while in Antarctica and also on rescue operations so as to increase our chances of survival. This applies more for the group which has to spend the winter here; however, for summer team also there are enough precautions to be kept in mind. One such is, for example, while walking on the frozen ice. The frozen blue ice has started melting now and crevasses have started appearing. Many times these crevasses are not visible since they are covered with a thin layer of ice and if you step on it, it will give way due to your weight making you go down. How much and how fast you disappear into it, depends upon how wide and deep it is. But there is no telling it till you yourself have not gone into it. So we have been instructed in not leaving the station alone, to carry a walkie-talkie, and to always inform the station about our destination and expected time of return.

The bottom line of the art of survival is to follow the instructions strictly and by the letter without applying your mind as it is done in the Army.

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In the Army they are advised, "Never ask how and why, always be ready to do or die".

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A Colonel once asked his soldier to buy 10 stamps from the post office. When the soldier did not return for next 2 hours, Colonel sent another soldier to investigate. The first soldier was sitting in the post office. Colonel asked him to be produced in front of him and asked him why he did not return after buying the stamps. The soldier replied that his only order was to buy the stamps; there was no order to return. The soldier's name was recommended for out of turn promotion.

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Once a welder in the Army while on a welding job said to his Commanding Officer, "Sir, I think.", the C.O. interrupted him immediately. He said, "Don't think, you continue working, you are paid for working. I get paid for thinking, hence I shall think".

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