Anyone who wants to be a Zodiac "boat operator" must complete the course called Boating II. Our science team took this course a few days after we arrived at Palmer Station.
Our course included boat handling, safe island landing, and man overboard drills. First we learned how to start the 55 horsepower engine as well as the auxiliary engine. We learned how to change the fuel tanks while out in the Zodiac (we always have at least two fuel tanks on board).
Then, each one of us took a turn at driving the Zodiac to an island, landing the Zodiac and passengers safely on the island, and tying up the Zodiac so that it wouldn't drift away while people went onshore. There are many islands within the two-mile boating limit. There are some islands where people can't go because the islands are nesting sites for birds, or because the sites are used for experiments.
The last part of our course was held in Hero Inlet, near the dock. Our instructor, Jeff Bechtel, "fell" overboard (he slipped into the water), and we had to rescue him. Fortunately, Jeff was wearing a full Mustang suit, but I am sure he was a little uncomfortable. The water temperature is about 1°C, and Jeff went into the water three times so that we could practice three different ways of getting a person back into a Zodiac. I don't have any photos of this part of the class, because we were very busy!