Life on the most remote inhabited island in the world

We were a little surprised that, while the press were very quick to report on the virus outbreak on the island, and predict doom and gloom all around, that very little has been covered on the delivery of the medicines to the island.  From what we have been able to ascertain, only one newspaper carried anything about the delivery – how sad that only bad news sells newspapers.

We’d like to mention that the crew of the Gold Rover apparently all had to re-schedule their Christmas leave in order to make this delivery to the island – a selfless gesture, particularly at this time of year, and we are very grateful for their kindness and consideration.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!  We wish all of you a wonderful and blessed Christmas and hope you actually make it back home in time.

Gold Rover in Tristan Da Cunha mercy mission

19 Dec 07

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Gold Rover has successfully delivered vital medical supplies and equipment to the isolated volcanic island of Tristan Da Cunha.

 The Tristan Government requested an urgent re-supply of drugs and medical stores following the viral outbreak which occurred there earlier in the month.A number of the island’s 271 residents were affected, suffering asthma-type complications, some of which required medical treatment and in a few cases, admission to hospital.

Following medical treatment, and the introduction of a number of public health measures by the Island’s Administrator, Mr David Morley, the viral outbreak was brought under control and there is no longer any cause for concern.

However the outbreak severely depleted medical supplies on the island, and there was no opportunity to replenish stocks before the next scheduled re-supply ship visit, due late January 2008.

A request for assistance was made through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, DfID and the Ministry of Defence. Captain Paul Minter, Commanding Officer of RFA Gold Rover, said:

Tristan Da Cunha [Picture: RFA]. Opens in a new window.

Tristan Da Cunha
[Picture: RFA]

“It was rewarding to have been able to assist in the Island’s time of need, and especially so in the light of the welcome and thanks we received when we arrived with the stores. All on board very much look forward to being able to return to visit Tristan Da Cunha at some time in the future.”

Tristan Da Cunha is part of a small group of islands situated 1,800 miles (2,897 km) west of Capetown, South Africa. The main island covers an area of 38 square miles (98 square km).

The islands were once on the main trading route between Europe and the Indian Ocean, but with the opening of the Suez Canal, it is now very isolated. There is no airstrip and re-supply is only achieved through scheduled shipping.

With this delivery of the requested drugs and medicines from RFA Gold Rover the island’s Locum Medical Officer – Laszlo Pal Dr Szabo – has declared the small four-bed hospital is now once again fully stocked.

RFA Gold Rover has now resumed her maritime security and support duties in the Atlantic.


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