Caring on the high seas

This article has photo gallery Published on PO Corina Burrows (author), ABIS Steven Thomson (photographer)

Location(s): Goa, India

Topic(s): Operation MANITOU, HMAS Arunta (F151)

HMAS Arunta on transit to the Middle Eastern Region. (photo: ABIS Steven Thomson)
HMAS Arunta on transit to the Middle Eastern Region.

Able Seaman Medic Bradley Scotton says he is living proof of Navy’s “what will you bring” recruitment campaign as he carves a second service career as a paramedic sailor.

The 26-year-old from the Blue Mountains recently experienced a regional engagement visit in Goa, India while his ship, HMAS Arunta, was enroute to the Middle East for duties as part of Operation MANITOU.

The operation is Australia’s mission to support international efforts to promote maritime security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East through counter terrorism, counter piracy and narcotics interception activities.

Originally joining the Navy as a Maritime Logistics-Chef, he said he made the switch to become a medical sailor after following his passion in paramedic studies.

“I spent four and a half years as a chef, where you work 24/7 at sea in the galley to keep the ship’s company fed,” he said.

“Over time I decided a career change was in order and pursued a long standing dream of becoming a medical assistant and commencing studies in a Diploma of Paramedical Science."

“These days, I provide primary health and emergency care to my colleagues along with high level of first aid training.”

This is not this young sailor’s first deployment as in 2011-12, he was posted to the Armidale class patrol boat crew, Assail 2, which conducted border protection operations from Darwin for Operation RESOLUTE.

 is not due to return to Australia until July 2017, making this the longest continuous deployment that a Royal Australian Navy vessel has done in a significant period of time.

Despite the length of time that Able Seaman Scotton will be away for, he is looking forward to the experience.

“Learning the cultures and traditions of other countries during port visits will be one of the highlights and the experiences and knowledge that will be gained from an operational deployment such as this one will be a life changing experience.”