Ever wondered what it would be like to live on a remote island?
Posted: 18.10.10 | Created by: Do Something
A friend of a Do Something! staff member has sent a
disturbing picture to us. This PET water bottle was found washed up on the shore of
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to live on a
remote desert island, this friend has been able to tell us about it, he is living there for 6 months. Willis Island is an external territory of Australia, located beyond the
Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea about 450 km (280 miles) east of Cairns,
Queensland, Australia. The island itself is tiny, about 7.7 hectares (19 acres)
in area, 500 meters (1,600 feet) long by 150 meters (490 feet) wide, rising to
about 9 meters (30 feet) above sea level.
There are only 4 inhabitants of Willis Island and they are
all employees of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, who look after the
weather monitoring station that was first established in 1921. Staff are placed
on the island for 3 or 6 month periods. They will not leave the island the
entire time, except in case of emergency, and are unlikely to have any visitors.
To further illustrate the remoteness of the island, the staff were ferried to
the island along with supplies for 6 months on a boat journey that took 30
hours. Before leaving for the island each staff member had to complete a basic
medical course, including how to do sutures, as the nearest medical help is via
radio to the Royal Australian Flying Doctor service who provide verbal
assistance. They share the island with thousands of birds and were recently visited by a group of Coral Sea Turtles, who use the island to breed.
Despite its remote location, Willis Island still has foreign
rubbish in the form of the ubiquitous PET water bottle wash up on its shores. Sad, isn’t it?
What can I do?
Photo credit: Matthew Dunn