Well, the good news is...I passed! And you know what, despite my dreading the crashed helicopter simulation I had to do all week beforehand, it wasn't quite as bad as I'd been expecting - even if it still was a pretty stressful and grueling experience.
That particular exercise consisted of six drills - three of which involved the helicopter simulator being capsized. First you had to get out of the nearest window with no re-breather on as it went down, then as it capsized and spun round. Then you had to repeat this same exercise but with a re-breather that essentially allowed you to breathe your own air from a bag attached to a LAPS jacket you were wearing that also contained an inflatable life jacket.
The final two drills involved the same exercise but with plexiglass attached to the windows that you had to release first.
After the whole holding-your-breath drill, I nearly bottled it. During the second drill where the helicopter spun round, I forgot my training, forgot you had to hold onto the window with your exterior hand and angle your body that way, whilst your interior hand clasped your belt ready to release on impact. I almost ended up going out the wrong window and had to do that drill twice!
Fortunately, I manned up and eventually got the bottle to do it again and after that, the drills with the re-breather were slightly easier. Thankfully, I didn't have to do all the things the woman on the Blue Peter video I shared did - I think hers was more of a military drill exercise, so no being held underwater or trying to climb out the front of the helicopter thank God!
It was bad enough as it was!
The rest of the week was spent sitting in a classroom doing health and safety, practicing some fire fighting and doing some basic sea survival. Tuesday and my helicopter drills were the worst part, and the good thing is not only am I now qualified to go offshore, but also I don't have to do that again for another four years!!
The sense of achievement I feel right now is immense and I am so proud of myself for facing my fears!
Also, I am now in a much better position to improve my life...
(This is the very pool, same drill and same simulator that I had to endure this week - what you see here is exactly what I had to do!)
Until next time....Sparky out!