Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) is training offered to military personnel, offshore oil and gas industry staff, law enforcement personnel, and helicopter flight crews.
It is aimed at preparing them for emergency exit in the event of a crash landing over water. It is provided to personnel who regularly move by helicopters over water.
HUET is usually confused with other safety training programs, however, it is completely different from them. These programs – including the HUET program – are internationally recognized in the oil and gas industry and regulated by OPITO (a global, non-profit, and skills body for the energy industry).
These safety training programs include Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (BOSIET), Tropical Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (T-BOSIET), Further Offshore Emergency Training (FOET), and Tropical Further Offshore Emergency Training (T-FOET).
If you have a certificate in any of these courses, you might not need to go for a HUET certificate as it is able to cover all areas that deal with safety on the job.
However, some employers or facility operators might require a HUET certificate as a means of qualification, which is why you should always have one handy if you wish to work in the energy industry.
What You Should Know About the HUET Course
A HUET course involves several exercises that are aimed at making it easy to survive a crash landing in water. The main topics covered in by most trainers include:
- Helicopter Safety
- Emergency Procedures
- Underwater Escape Techniques
- Sea Survival
Depending on the facilities possessed by the trainer, the practical aspects of the training might be conducted in a pool with the trainees in a specially designed HUET module and life raft. This is aimed at mimicking a real-life crash landing experience.
The HUET module which represents the cabin of a helicopter will be submerged in water to simulate a helicopter sinking after an emergency landing or crash. The HUET module can be rotated to about 180 degrees to imitate a helicopter ditching, resulting in capsize.
Types of HUET Courses
Depending on where you undergo your training, you may be introduced to the different types of HUET courses. Some facilities teach these courses as one single course. While the difference between these courses is not very significant, it is best you go through one that fits your profession and the location through which you are transported by helicopter.
Below are the different types of HUET courses.
Helicopter Underwater Safety Escape Training (HUET)
This is the main HUET course that most professionals go through. The course is designed for personnel travelling regularly by helicopter to any of the facilities listed below.
- Offshore rig/installation
- Floating facility
- Support vessel
Generally, the content of this course includes:
- Prepare for flight
- Prepare for a helicopter ditching
- Undertake evacuation from helicopter including actions during submersion and inversion of helicopter
- Helicopter emergency procedures
Your trainer might include extra content like Emergency Breathing System (EBS) or exclude some of the content listed above. Ensure you go through the content of the course before signing up.
Also, to ensure the validity of your certificate, check if the training standards used in the course are accepted by OPITO.
OPITO Tropical Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (T-HUET)
This is similar to the general HUET course offered to professionals, however, it focuses on delegates in a tropical environment. It provides specific training to delegates who travel to and from offshore oil and gas facilities by helicopter in a tropical environment.
The training is based on pre-flight and in-flight requirements, which equip delegates with the important emergency response skills needed in case of a helicopter emergency.
The content of the course encompasses…
- Helicopter safety and escape
- Facility abandonment via a lifeboat
- Sea survival
OPITO Helicopter Underwater Escape Training
This course focuses on training personnel that travel to and from offshore oil and gas facilities by helicopter with the right skills and knowledge needed in the event of a helicopter emergency.
Like other courses, the practical aspects of this course include a simulation to train the personnel on how to use safety equipment and follow the right procedures during helicopter emergencies.
This course includes a rebreather emergency breathing system training. It also trains delegates on how to use the device before and during helicopter emergencies.
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HUET Training Cost & Duration in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the HUET course is offered by many standard organizations with the right facilities and personnel to train delegates in different areas.
Before signing up for training in any organization, ensure to check that they are accredited and offer their training according to OPITO standards.
Never take this course with organizations that provide more of the theoretical aspect and leave out the practical aspect. Certificates offered by these organizations will likely be rejected by your employer or facility manager.
HUET Training Cost in Nigeria
The cost of HUET training in Nigeria varies from trainer to trainer. It depends on some factors such as;
- The facilities offered by the trainer
- The length of the course
- The content of the course
- The accreditation and recognition of the trainer
The cost of HUET training is within the range of N200,000 – N300,000.
Duration of the Course
The duration depends on the trainer you sign up with. Some teach it in a day while others teach it in a week. Only go for a trainer that covers all parts of HUET to ensure that you have the complete knowledge and skills needed.
The type of certificate offered by your trainer is very important. For your certificate to be valid and accepted by any employer or facility operator in the oil and gas industry, it must be approved by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Certificates offered in Nigeria are recognized by Local Oil Companies and International Oil Companies (IOCs) operating in the Nigerian Oil Sector. The certificate might not be considered by oil companies in other countries, however, if done according to OPITO standards, it could be honoured by some oil companies and oil service companies in other countries.
The HUET certificate is valid for 4 years after which it must be renewed.