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Thread: Surgeon-Rear Admiral Frank Golden

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    Default Surgeon-Rear Admiral Frank Golden

    At the Inquest on the Deaths of the crew who died on the POOL FISHER most died of Hypothermia, the Two lads who survived the sinking also suffered from the effects of Hypothermia. At the time Surgeon Commander Frank Golden gave evidence. So I did meet him.
    He tested himself to find the reasons how Hypothermia affected the body.
    See Photos below.
    That is one of the reasons ship owners started to put survival suits on ships for their crews.

    Surgeon Rear-Admiral Frank Golden - obituary
    Surgeon Rear-Admiral Frank Golden was a medical officer 'phobic about water’ who tackled the dangers of hypothermia for those in peril on the sea
    Frank Golden
    Frank Golden
    5:47PM BST 03 Apr 2014
    Surgeon Rear Admiral Frank Golden, who has died aged 77, was a world authority on survival at sea and unravelled many of the mysteries surrounding immersion hypothermia.

    Serving at the Naval Air Station at Helston, Cornwall, from 1964 , Golden was often on duty to treat casualties at sea, and was seized by his helplessness at not knowing how best to prevent deaths. The urgency of the situation was driven home by the Torrey Canyon incident of March 18 1967, when the supertanker ran aground on rocks off Land’s End . “I was flown out to provide immediate medical care to members of the salvage team who were injured following an explosion, ” Golden recalled. “ It quickly became apparent that the casualties did not exactly conform to the information in the medical textbooks.”

    During his next appointment, from 1967 to 1973, Golden discovered that beneath the floorboards of the RN Air Medical School in Lee-on-Solent, there was a refrigerated pool which had been used in wartime to test aircrew immersion suits. He duly embarked on a scientific career which lasted 40 years and provided new insights into the body’s responses to immersion and cold exposure.

    Frank Golden during one of his water trials,. photo below.

    Golden’s research revealed that in the Second World War more than two-thirds of all naval fatalities escaped their sinking ships only to die subsequently from hypothermia. He was puzzled why even people who knew how to swim were unable to struggle a few yards to safety, or why competent swimmers died after 20 or 30 minutes in the water. Most baffling of all was the fact that a fifth of those who were picked up alive – often by helicopter – died during or shortly after rescue. One of Golden’s findings was that this high rate of collapse was not, as many thought, due to the continued fall in deep body temperature, but was related to the sudden removal of the hydrostatic support provided by the water pressure around the immersed body.

    Much of Golden’s practical work over the 12 years after leaving Lee-on-Solent was done at the Institute of Naval Medicine, where he had the naval life jacket (whose design had not changed in a quarter of a century) fitted with Perspex hoods and crotch-straps, and successfully advocated that survivors should be lifted horizontally from the water.

    Not content with theoretical ideas, Golden used himself as a guinea pig in many trials. Once, after launching into the Atlantic in a rubber lifeboat for a seven-day trial, he recalled a night in near gale conditions: “The floor began to peel off the raft and we were quickly up to our armpits hanging on to the inner side of the raft tube while waiting to be rescued.”

    Golden’s findings led to improved understanding of how the body reacts to extreme cold and the development of new techniques for safety and rescue at sea, and in the specialised treatment of survivors. He wrote, with MJ Tipton, Essentials of Sea Survival (2002), a blend of historical anecdote, scientific fact and practical application, including step-by-step instructions on how safely to abandon ship, board a life craft, dispense water and rations, divide duties, conserve energy and proceed with a successful rescue.

    Francis St Clair Golden was born in Cork on June 5 1936 and attended Presentation Brothers College, Cork, before studying Medicine at University College, Cork, graduating in 1960 . After a year at Cork’s North Charitable Hospital, Golden spent two years, from 1961 to 1963, as a GP in Kingston upon Thames, during which time he also played rugby for London Irish. But after some friendly advice from his bank manager, he took a short service commission in the Navy.

    Golden’s choice of the sea was bizarre. By his own admission he “swam like a stone” and thus became very phobic about water. This, he reflected, drove a “latent interest in the nature and causes in immersion-related drowning deaths”.

    His first ship (1961-63) was the frigate Jaguar on the South Atlantic and South America station, where he captained the rugby team. Other appointments included the MoD (1985–86); Fleet Medical Officer (1986–88); and as last Medical-Officer-in-Charge of the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar. After an appointment as Surgeon Rear-Admiral (Support Medical Services) from 1990 to 1993, Golden retired to become consultant in Applied Physiology at Surrey University.

    From 1994 to 2006 he chaired the RNLI’s medical and survival committee . He was also an expert witness in many courts, and recently published the last of more than 70 scientific papers. He was awarded the Royal College of Surgeons’ Gilbert Blane Medal in 1981 and the British Anaesthetic Association’s Pinkerton Medal in 2004 .

    He was appointed OBE in 1981, and was honorary physician to the Queen from 1990 to 1993.

    Frank Golden married Jennifer Beard in 1964. She survives him with their daughter and two sons, one of whom is also a naval officer.

    Surgeon Rear Admiral Frank Golden, born June 5 1936, died January 5 2014
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    Last edited by Captain Kong; 7th November 2019 at 05:01 PM.

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