Dr. Benjamin La Brot is a native Southern Californian who learned to swim before he could walk. From junior high school until after college, he worked on sport and commercial fishing boats, on the Floating Marine Science Laboratory vessel. He qualified as an Emergency Medical Technician, a Handicapped SCUBA Association Dive Buddy for divers with paraplegia, quadriplegia or blindness, and completed a B.S. in Marine Biology (with all pre-med requirements), a B.A. in History, and a Geology Minor from the University of CA, Santa Barbara.
After teaching biology and anatomy for two years, Ben moved to Ireland to study medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons. Throughout his time in Ireland, Ben made private medical missions to Thailand, Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Enormous need everywhere he went—in the developed as well as the developing world—combined with the belief that the privilege of becoming a doctor comes with the responsibility for ALWAYS being on-call, wherever you may be in the world, have led Ben to combine his love and knowledge of the sea with his talent for medicine and service to create the Floating Doctors.
Ben says that each successive time he traveled in the developing world, his backpack carried fewer personal items and more medical supplies, and that the most heartbreaking part of doing medicine in the developing world is when the backpack is empty and there are still many people in desperate need. For Dr. Ben, the Southern Wind and his crew of dedicated volunteers is “A much bigger backpack over many thousands of miles; I promised myself I would come back to the developing world with more help, and now I finally have the chance to keep my promise.”