Sussex Travel Clinic

Hove Clinic

01273 749100

Worthing Clinic

01903 254774

If you are planning a trip abroad it is a good idea to register with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) LOCATE service. Registraion is simple and free. Your details will be saved so that you can simply log in and change your details for future trips.

The FCO Locate service is for British nationals only. If you are planning on travelling abroad, even for a short trip, register your details so that in the event of an emergency such as a terrorist attack or tsunami, British embassy staff will be better equipped to offer you assistance.

Benefits of registering with LOCATE?

  • in the event of  a major catastrophe the FCO will have an instant record of your details. They will be able to make contact and offer assistance.
  • if  your family and friends need to get in touch with you , FCO can help them to find you.
  • the simple registration process means it only takes a few minutes to register your travel or residence information  and the local British Embassy will know you are coming. You do not need to contact embassies directly.
  • you only need to register once. Any future trips can then be updated by logging in to your account. You can register planned trips up to a year ahead of travel.
  • LOCATE improves the FCO’s ability to provide help in an emergency and reduce delay and worry in times of stress for family and friends at home.

Before you travel.

When planning a trip abroad it is important to plan so that you have a safe and healthy trip. Things to consider include:

  • Make sure you have had any necessary vaccinations.
  • Make sure you have malaria tablets if they are required for your trip.
  • Don’t travel without insurance and make sure it covers you for all activites you wish to do on your trip.
  • Get any VISA’s that may be requied for the countries you plan to visit.
  • Check that you passport is in date. Some countires require that your passport is valid for six months after the date of travel.
  • Make a note or a secure online copy of your passport number and any other important documents.
  • Driving abroad- make sure you take your driving license and make yourself aware of any driving laws in the country you are visiting.

To book travel vaccinations or discuss malaria requirements call 01273 749100 or book online.

I was very saddened to hear of the awful tragedy over the weekend of Costa Concordia cruise ship that hit a reef and ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, Italy. The awful tragedy saw 6 people lose their lives with another 15 passengers and crew still unaccounted for .It was even more poignant for me as two months to the day my husband and I had been on that very ship taking a seven night cruise around the Mediterranean.

I can only imagine how frightening the whole episode must have been for those involved. I expect the mood would have upbeat on the ship on Friday evening before the tragedy. The ship would have departed earlier from the port of Civitavecchiaand been on its way to Savona. The passengers would have been enjoying a seven course Gala dinner by candlelight when the ship hit the reef. Luckily, most people where able to get off the stricken ship, however reports in the media are that the evacuation was chaotic with many passengers not having attended a muster safety drill. When we were on the ship our muster drill was on the day we arrived, however with so many nationalities on the ship, the drill was presented in several different languages and it was quite hard to hear what was being announced. The Costa Concordia is a very large cruise ship that carries up to 4000 passengers so I would imagine evacuation on a ship that size would always be difficult.

This tragedy highlights the importance of safety drills on both ships and planes. On cruise ships all passengers must attend a muster safety drill within 24 hours of departure. The purpose of a muster drill is to prepare passengers for safe evacuation in the event of an emergency while on board the ship and to familiarize passengers and crew with escape routes. In the case of the Costa Concordia many passengers are saying that they had not attended a safety drill when the ship got into trouble. Maybe lessons will be learnt from this and it will become law that safety drills are carried out before departure.

Our thoughts are with all of those involved and the families of those that died and are still missing.

 

Have you ever been evacuated from a ship or plane? Share your stories with us.