Submarine Medicine Workshop

Thursday, 12 October 2023
1300- 1700
Location: Level 2, Meeting Room 1, Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
Cost for conference delegates: $50
Cost for non-conference delegates: $200

The Submarine Medicine Workshop is currently fully booked. Please contact Ariana, If you would like to be added to the waitlist for the pre-conference. You will be contacted, as soon as the registration of the pre-conference workshop is available.

Timing Activity
1300 – 1330 Introduction of submarine medicine
Dr Ninian Melville – SMA SUBMED
Dr Patrick Owens – OIC SUMU W
Dr Simon Mahoney – MO SUMU W
1330 – 1400 Briefing on escape and rescue scenario, talk through the surface level considerations and provide participants with the facts of the problem
1400 – 1430 Q and A on the problems associated with planning a submarine rescue and hyperbaric medical considerations
1430 – 1500 Present SUMU – W worked solution to the problem
1500 – 1515 Break
1515 – 1530 Introduce activity two, confined space triage and resus scenario
1530 – 1545 Gear allocation, layout, and discussion
1545 – 1630 Three-tiered activity for resus
  1. Positioning the patient
  2. Running the resus
  3. Retrieval
1630 – 1700 Debrief and questions
  1. Introduce SUMU W and what the role is as well as what some of the key facts are regarding submarine medicine (submarine is at 1 ATA internally, how a submarine becomes pressurised, what the atmosphere changes are).
  2. The escape and rescue scenario will be briefed to the participants so that they can have enough information to begin thinking through some of the key issues of the tabletop exercise. The scenario will involve a submarine which is disabled and has personnel on board who are in need of rescue. The atmosphere will be briefed, along with the number of personnel, the pressure on board the boat, how long they have been there for, and an overview of what the likely injuries could be. The hyperbaric capabilities will also be briefly touched on such that participants can plan their treatments. The participants will then be given the chance to think through some of the problems that they would face in trying to recover those patients and how they would manage them.
  3. Any key issues faced by participants will be explored and possible solutions discussed.
  4. SUMU – W will present their solution while also highlighting some of the problems faced during running such a scenario which the team may not have considered.
  5. Afternoon refreshment break.
  6. Briefing for the nature of submarine treatment spaces, particularly AMS 2/PCC in the engineering spaces and what equipment and personnel are available as well as the confines that you are working in.
  7. Gear that the participants have to work with will be laid out giving them a chance to consider how they would allocate resources and lay their gear out during an evolution.
  8. The activity will be run with the participants going through (under the guidance of MEDSM’s) how they would 1. Position the patient/patients in that space 2. Run a resus in a confined space and 3. Move those patients to affect retrieval.
  9. Address any questions and conclude.

Workshop presenters

CMDR Ninian Melville

Dr Ninian Melville is the senior authority for submarine medicine in Australia. He has written the current guidelines for all medical aspects of submarine escape and rescue and has pioneered the submarine medical guide. He is also the current chair of the NATO Submarine Escape and Rescue Working Group (SMERWG). Dr Melville is also a submariner having been a weapons electrical engineer on submarines before going to medical school. He continues to be heavily involved in decisions on fitness for submarines, submarine policy and habitability. A GP Anaesthetist who works remotely at Port Hedland hospital in emergency and anaesthetics, Dr Melville also finds time for his three young daughters and wife Shannon.

LEUT Patrick Owens

Dr Patrick Owens is the current Offier in Charge of SUMU – W, the Royal Australian Navy’s medical unit responsible for submarine medical support, advice, hyperbaric medicine, and the medical aspects of escape and rescue. He is also the doctor responsible for entering a submarine in the event of an emergency to render medical care on the boat before all the casualties can be rescued. He is an aviation and underwater medical officer, has done his advanced skill training in remote medicine and is a part of the UTAS Expedition Medicine Team.

LEUT Simon Mahoney

Dr Simon Mahoney is a medical officer at SUMU – W, as well as an underwater medical officer. He has recently completed extended trips on HMAS Stalwart, HMAS Melville and HMAS ANZAC and is well versed in Navy Health delivery at sea and ashore. Dr Mahoney has a PhD in microbiology, is an anatomy lecturer with Curtin University and has a special interest in radiation and nuclear medicine, particularly in the upcoming nuclear submarine space. He is a GP, dad to two boys and husband to Kerry.