Helicopter Underwater Escape Training February 2019
The rescue crew have undergone HUET training this February with the first training and pool session getting underway on the 12th February, and the second session on the 19th February.
HUET training involves the crew being plunged into the water in a ‘simulation’ of what could occur in an accident off-shore. Participants complete a theory training course before jumping in the water and physically demonstrating their ability to escape from a submerged helicopter.
The crew and pilots sit in a helicopter cage with safety harnesses and belts that are identical to safety systems in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. Once participants are inside, the cage it is lifted above the water before being quickly lowered and rotated 180 degrees. Once upside down and underwater in the cage, participants must follow procedure to escape the helicopter.
The crew are put through various scenarios including wearing black out goggles to simulate a night time underwater escape. By blocking the crews vision, they are taught how to vacate the aircraft without visual cues to guide them. Crew member Nigel French said “Wearing black out goggles and being being dumped into the water upside down certainly proved to be very disorienting.” When asked about the best way to approach the training, French said, “The key is to relax, go through a thought process, think about your training and stay calm. You know what to release first and to follow the training instructions you were given.”
It is an essential training exercise that must be completed by all new crew, and after that, all crew are required to complete recurrency training every 2 years.
Follow our Facebook page for more training photos and to see a video of the crew completing HUET training: https://www.facebook.com/CWCairrescue/