Kalypso Adventures is run by three ex-Naval officers who have diverse qualifications and experience. Commander Sam T Samuel, the Managing Director, is a Naval pilot with over 4000 hours of flying experience and a qualified Interviewing Officer of the Defence Services Selection Board. Commander Thomas Zacharias, Executive Director, is an Electrical Engineer, a wild life enthusiast and a nature lover who has enormous experience in the wilderness. Commander Madhusoodanan, Director-Training, is a Deep sea diver (qualified from US Navy) and has undergone a ‘Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation’ training capsule conducted by the American Heart Association and the ‘Master Medicare’ course (essential first aid for ships without doctors) approved by Director General Shipping. The experience and knowledge of all the three officers are leveraged to the maximum in establishing and maintaining safety guidelines and practices.
Our safety procedures are based on three major aspects:
- The safety procedures laid down by reputed international organizations
- Knowledge and Experience of the ‘Kalypso Team’
- Knowledge of local population
Since there is no agency in India who is authorized to certify companies involved in such activities, we follow the internationally laid down procedures modified to local requirements. The risk assessment and various other procedures are carried out in accordance with established international practices such as BS 8848, the British Standard for adventurous activities. We conduct activities for internationally reputed organizations like ‘Raleigh International’ (www.raleighinternational.org) and ‘World Challenge’ (https://weareworldchallenge.com/uk ).
All activities undergo thorough risk assessment at the conceptual, planning and implementation stages. Periodic reviews of processes are carried out based on experiences and feedbacks.
Our team systematically identify and review risks at various stages to ensure those things, activities, situations, processes, etc. that cause harm to people or property are controlled. This procedure is carried out by a member who is experienced and familiar with the activity.
We have different ways to assess risks, depending on the type of activity undertaken. Even though there are many risk assessments tools and techniques that can be used, we follow the method that best matches our situation. In all cases, the risk assessment is completed for an activity before it begins.
Steps involved are:
- Identify hazards and their potential for causing harm.
- Rank hazards by priority.
- Determine hazard elimination or risk control measures.
- Eliminate the hazard or implement risk controls.
- Measure the effectiveness of controls.
- Make changes to improve continuously.
Casualty Evacuation is an aspect integrated into every activity we conduct. Suitable vehicles are kept stand by, and location of nearest hospitals are identified.
First Aid Bag is a part and parcel of the equipment and is available at the camp as well as at the location of the activity.
For our camp at Suryanelli, the Harrisons Malayalam Clinic, and a private clinic at Suryanelli town are at 15 minutes drive. For other locations, we ascertain the information of nearest hospitals.
Most of the equipment we utilize (including our kayaks, cycles and life jackets) has been procured from reputed international and Indian suppliers.
Water activities are conducted under the supervision of qualified personnel with quality safety equipment. Personnel can participate only with life jackets. A Kayak is kept standby as an additional precaution.
Elephant Protocol – Shanthanpara To Chaturangapara Trek
1 All groups to trek to lunch point ( Near Check post)
2 Before reaching the lunch point at Kazuthakulammedu Tea shop, enquire about presence of wild elephants in the region
If elephants present, follow 3.
If not present, follow 4 onwards.
3 Trek till lunch point, transfer to check point and trek to camp.
4 Brief elephant protocol and maintain Staff Position
5 After lunch near check-post, trek as usual to Chaturangapara Mettu
6 Cas-evac team to remain at check post till group reaches foothills of Chaturangapara mettu.
Staff Position & Communication:
Local guide – 60 meters ahead of the group
Support guide – 30 meters ahead of the group
Kalypso Trek Leader – With the group
WC Leader – Back of the group
Constant communication from local guide to Kalypso trek leader
Common Briefing before entering Elephant Prone Area
- Elephants can hear and smell us from a far distance, more than 3 kilometers.
- However, eyesight is not more than 60 meters.
- Don’t use flash, if you get a chance to take photograph from a safe distance.
- Reduce the noise and be silent.
- Stay as a group.
- We will avoid getting close to the elephants.
- Be ready to run by loosening the buckles of the backpack.
- In case if you see an elephant very close, leave your bags on the ground and run downwards (downhill) and hide behind any bushes or objects.
- Leaving the bags on the ground will divert elephant’s attention and it will come to the bags first and you will get some time to react.
- Take the group to a safe area and inform the driver for evacuation.