What is a HUET? Helicopter Underwater Escape Training Explained

21 August 2019

What is a HUET?

A Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) is a course that prepares personnel with the knowledge and skill to safely disembark from a helicopter that has made an emergency landing or ditched on to water.

HUET module aerial


No, a HUET is commonly confused with an OPITO TBOSIET, BOSIET, FOET or TFOET. The courses vary in the content they deliver, their regulators, the intended participant and where they are recognised (national vs international).

The OPITO courses encompass the HUET learning outcome as well as a wider range of topics. These topics include safety induction (T BOSIET & BOSIET only), firefighting, self-rescue, sea survival and first aid. They are regulated by OPITO, which is an international not for profit Oil & Gas industry-owned organisation. The TBOSIET, BOSIET, FOET and TFOET courses are internationally recognised as the primary requirement to work offshore in the Oil & Gas industry.

To learn more about these courses please follow the links below:


Two of the four HUET courses discussed in this article are delivered to Nationally Recognised Training (NRT) standards and only recognised in Australia. The remaining two are the internationally recognised OPITO Tropical Helicopter Safety & Escape course (OPITO THUET) and OPITO HUET.  These courses only deliver HUET related learning outcomes and are designed for a range of industries and personnel (as described later in this article).

So if I have an OPITO BOSIET / TBOSIET / FOET / TFOET, do I need a HUET?

It is very rare that personnel holding a valid OPITO BOSIET / TBOSIET / FOET / TFOET will need to also complete an additional HUET course. In an instance where it is required this would be advised by an employer or facility operator.

If the participant has been granted dispensation from attending the full BOSIET/TBOSIET (typically if they are only visiting an offshore facility for a short time) a HUET delivering a NRT competency or OPITO THUET course may be required. This is not a common occurrence. Please note that the offshore facility operator will inform individuals that this qualification will be acceptable.

What’s involved in a HUET course?

A HUET course combines practical exercises with learning about such topics as; helicopter safety, emergency procedures, underwater escape techniques and sea survival. The practical elements are conducted in a pool utilising a specially designed HUET module and life raft. The HUET module represents the cabin of a helicopter and has the ability to rotate at least 180 degrees while being submerged in water to simulate a helicopter ditching resulting in capsize. While in the module participants put into practice such skills as brace positions, escape plans and the operation of emergency exits.

Who needs to complete a HUET course?

If you travel regularly by helicopter over water for your work in Australia you may be required to complete a HUET course. These courses are designed for specific environments, situations, industries and job roles; these are described for each course below. As mentioned previously, if you hold a valid OPITO BOSIET / TBOSIET / FOET / TFOET it is unlikely you will also have to complete a HUET course.

What are the different types of HUET courses?

There are three different “HUET” courses delivered by ERGT Australia (RTO 2534) which have been designed by industry and regulators for different roles and industries. These courses are:

Helicopter Underwater Safety & Escape Training (HUET)

This course is designed for personnel travelling regularly by helicopter to any of the following installations or facilities; offshore rig/installation, floating facility, or support vessel. It delivers the NRT certification PMAWHS214 Undertake helicopter safety and escape. This course delivers such content as; prepare for flight, prepare for helicopter ditching and undertake evacuation from helicopter but does not include the use of an Emergency Breathing System (EBS).

Aircraft Underwater Escape & Survival for the Aviation Industry (AVI AUES)

This course has been designed for Pilots and Flight Crew across a range of industries including; emergency services, law enforcement and military. The AVIF0038 Undertake aircraft underwater escape and survival NRT unit can be delivered in conjunction with AVIF0039 Utilise emergency breathing system, which enables the participants to gain confidence utilising an EBS during an emergency landing or ditching on to water. Both of these AVI competencies can be delivered separately if one is not required.

OPITO Tropical Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (Standard Code 5195)

This course delivers OPITO THUET  and has been designed for those travelling to Oil & Gas installations/facilities via helicopter in a tropical environment. It contains helicopter safety and escape, facility abandonment via a life boat (TEMPSC) and sea survival.

OPITO Helicopter Underwater Safety & Escape Training (Standard Code 5095)

This course is a cold water qualification. It has been designed for workers with special exemptions (such as for a one day trip) travelling in cold water environment to Oil & Gas installations/facilities via helicopter. This course delivers the HUET and Sea Survival component of the BOSIET and FOET courses.

All of these one day courses require a valid HUET medical or equivalent in order to undertake training.

Where can I complete any of the HUET courses you’ve described?

All of these courses need to be delivered at a training centre with a HUET module, or a suitable location at which a mobile HUET can be operated. ERGT has three centre-based HUET modules located in Jandakot (WA), Darwin (NT), and Altona (VIC). All three centres also deliver the OPITO BOSIET, TBOSIET, FOET and TFOET.


BOSIET – Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training

TBOSIET – Tropical Basic Offshore Safety Induction & Emergency Training

FOET – Further Offshore Emergency Training

TFOET – Tropical Further Offshore Emergency Training

HUET – Helicopter Underwater Escape Training

THUET – Tropical Helicopter Underwater Escape Training

NRT – Nationally Recognised Training

TEMPSC – Totally Enclosed Motor Propelled Survival Craft

CA EBS – Compressed Air Emergency Breathing System

EBS – Emergency Breathing System

NRT – Nationally Recognised Training

RTO – Registered Training Organisation

Return to top