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Discussion Starter #1
But before you think I was just relaxing...

I had to go through HUET (Helicopter Underwater Egress Training) again today. It's been 5 years since I did my last class and I was overdue. Plus I might have to spend some time offshore next month, so I really needed to be up to date.

The first half of the day was spent in lecture hearing about Unpleasant Ways to Die - sharks, hypothermia, helicopter crashes, rig disasters, yadda yadda... and the instructors always LOVE to tell gruesome stories. Today was no exception.

Then the second half of the day was in the pool, wearing full offshore gear including coveralls. We got to be strapped into a helicopter simulator (frame) and get flipped upside down several times - once to exit through the window, once through the door, once through the door with a buddy next to you and last next to your buddy and waiting until he/she got the door opened (that one is the worst). Then learning survival float techniques. Then practice with the inflatable airline life vests. Then with the type 1 PFDs including stepping/jumping off a platform, huddling together, dealing with "injured" compatriots and towing "unconcious" people through the water, and learning how to conserve energy and body heat. Then practice flipping over an inverted life raft in the water and getting everyone into it - there were seven of us (and only two women) in the class so it was tight quarters. Finally stripping out of the coveralls (while floating, no less) and inflating them to use them as a floatation device, obviously your last choice for a PFD, and quite difficult to do. I barely managed the last one and that was in a nice warm, calm pool. Out in the ocean I doubt I could make that work.

When I got home I showered and loaded up on hair conditioner and body cream, but I am definitely feeling the effects of having spent four hours in chlorinated water. Yuck. Plus my ears are irritated from being inverted in the "helicopter" multiple times and I have a few bruises from bumping on the frame while exiting underwater and upside down. Last time I did this I got an ear infection, hopefully that won't happen this time.

But I am tired. Another reason I'm glad I don't work offshore regularly - you have to do this every year or two, rather than 5 for me.

It's good to learn the skills, though. Definitely a confidence-boost when you're done. Probably more use to me for application on our sailboat, but good to do anyway. But really no fun.

I'm very glad tomorrow is a normal office day for me again!
 

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HAH! My first thought was a flashback to Chamois (was it Chamois?) who dangerously let himself into your pool when you were "over there"!! What an ordeal THAT was! :)
 

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HAH! My first thought was a flashback to Chamois (was it Chamois?) who dangerously let himself into your pool when you were "over there"!! What an ordeal THAT was! :)
Oh now that just makes me want to go back and read an old thread!!!
That does sound rather grueling though!!!
 

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HAH! My first thought was a flashback to Chamois (was it Chamois?) who dangerously let himself into your pool when you were "over there"!! What an ordeal THAT was! :)
No, Nance. That was Toby. (Chamois is the goody-two-shoes baby girl!) If it's the incident I recall, that was when the pool was drained for repairs and Toby decided to explore the deep end. The slope up to the shallow end was too steep and slippery for him to negotiate on his own and I was afraid that if I went down there to give him a boost we'd both get stuck (and of course Mark was out of the country at the time so I was on my own). I tried to lasso him with a slip lead without success and finally grabbed a towel and got him to latch onto it and pull enough to get him up the slope.

I don't think today's training would have helped with that situation. Blowing up coveralls in a dry pool wouldn't be very useful - though I suppose they might have made a better "bite me" item for the tug-and-pull...
 
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