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Old Jul 5 2009, 11:29 AM   #1
Nefermiw
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Default Offshore survival and emergency training

I've been rather busy lately with work and staying-over guests. One of the work things that kept me busy was a 3 day offshore survival and emergency course (BOSIET). It took place at the harbour in Rotterdam and consisted of first aid training, fire fighting, survival at sea training and escape from helicopter under water training (HUET). It was very interesting and also fun to do, but I failed the HUET part of the course, because I had trouble holding my breath under water and wasn't used to getting water up my nose. So when one of the instructors kept yelling at me to get moving I thought to myself that he could go and stuff something a place where the sun doesn't shine and got out of the pool.

The following week I trained at a local swimming pool trying to hold my breath. I got used to having my eyes open under water and having water presure on my nose, but I didn't really get much better with holding my breath; 20 seconds only.
After a week I went back to do the HUET training and this time I succeded! It wasn't really that difficult when nobody was yelling at me.
I had told one of the other instructors that they shouldn't yell at me, since it wasn't helping, and he was being very nice and talked me through the exercises nice and calm with a sense of humour also.

So now I can be sent offshore!

Has anybody else here done this sort of training?
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Old Jul 5 2009, 11:40 AM   #2
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Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Here's a link to a HUET exercise (on youtube):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtVfTrXswNw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UM7U6y4SPI&NR=1

The one I did was pretty much similar. Though it was done in steps:
First: without turning around and with out a devise they call an air pocket that is basically a pouch that you exhale a mouthfull of breath into and seals with a valve that lets you breath it in and out.

Second: still without the air pocket but this time the helicopter turns upside down.

Third: no turning but now with the air pocket.

Fourth: The helicopter turns upside down and we get to use the air pocket.

Fifth: Same as fourth time, but now we have the windows in and have to push them out to escape.

I've always said that I would not try to dive, so this was quite an experience for me. I'm very glad that I got the chance to do this, and especially glad that I passed it on my second try. (Would of course also have been nice if I had passed it on my first try.)

Last edited by Nefermiw; Jul 5 2009 at 11:52 AM. Reason: Added an extra link
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Old Jul 5 2009, 12:31 PM   #3
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Wow, that sounds like pretty exciting training to do! Congrats on passing all the segments.
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Old Jul 5 2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Congrats, Nef.
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Old Jul 5 2009, 02:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Congrats on passing Nef. I have done very much survival training (when I was in the military) and a lot of fire fighting/escape training later in life but never an escape from a helicopter.

Is there any particular reason you can't hold your breath for longer than 20 seconds. I suppose you can hold it longer when you are not under water?
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Old Jul 5 2009, 02:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Wow. Seems you ought to get some sort of recognition for even attempting something like that! I your accomplishment!
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Old Jul 5 2009, 02:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
Congrats on passing Nef. I have done very much survival training (when I was in the military) and a lot of fire fighting/escape training later in life but never an escape from a helicopter.

Is there any particular reason you can't hold your breath for longer than 20 seconds. I suppose you can hold it longer when you are not under water?
I don't know why it's difficult for me to hold my breath. There's not really a difference with or without water. They make you do a medical examination before going to this course, and the doctor listened to my lunges and didn't find anything wrong, so I guess I should be normally healthy.

I joined a fitness center last week to do some cardio fitness training, so maybe that will help me get more "fit". And after having been to the swimming pool to practise "not breathing" I think I'll keep going to the pool once a week to swim. It's been more than 8 years since I swam regularly, and I realised that I missed it.

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Old Jul 6 2009, 05:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Nef: there are various techniques for extending the time before you need to breathe in.

Partly it's gradually training the 'breathing centre' in your brain to ignore the rising CO2 level in your bloodstream. 1 training 'trick' is to swim front crawl and instead of breathing every time your right arm comes out of the water, breath every other time; and then every third time.

Another technique is NOT to hold your breath but to release one small bubble of air every couple of seconds or so. If you can do this using your nose then it's even better: while the air's coming out, water can't get in.

If you are practicing swimming under water please, please do NOT hyper-ventilate before setting off as this can kill you.

Your HUET training sounds very like one of the parts of the Honours level Personal Survival award I did some years ago. We had to do a simulated exit from a helicopter when we had to go feet first through a small hoop anchored just above the pool bottom. We had to do it fully dressed too.
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Old Jul 6 2009, 07:01 AM   #9
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Congrats Nef! Definitely a huge achievement - I saw someone go through the HUET on telly last year, and it looked VERY intense!

I think Bamy over at AMCF has done this too... but I could be wrong.
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Old Jul 6 2009, 02:53 PM   #10
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Congrats on passing. It does sound like you had an exciting weekend.
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Old Jul 6 2009, 11:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Offshore survival and emergency training

Ane...Congratulations...I think it's fantastic that you have been learning all of the new survival training...with practice I'm sure that you will be able to learn to hold your breath at lot longer...enjoy your swimming.
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