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We have been featuring the Humberside Offshore training Association (HOTA) and their important Health & Safety offshore training for many years now. The opportunity presented itself for us to cover a real world scenario when our Junior Reporter, Joe Hancher required such training before he sped off on a worldwide business adventure. We introduce Joe Hancher who takes up the story…

WELCOME… AND FORM FILLING On arrival at HOTA at (8.15am prompt) for the on a personal survival techniques one day course, I was greeted by a very professional and welcoming staff. My documentation was very important as they ask a range of questions form your age to your medical history even as far as companies you were working for.


At 8.45am we began our training, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the course was a mixture of theoretical and practical exercises and both sides of the course were very interesting. Furthermore I was not prepared for the size and professional quality of their facilities.


Our day began with the theoretical side when we were taken from the main building where coffee is provided (FOC) in the canteen and taken to the secondary building. This was the main learning area and the building consisted of a large deep pool and several individual classrooms.

We were seated in classroom one where we experienced a very detailed PowerPoint presentation on what to do in different situations; for example if the ship runs aground. Our instructor was very knowledgeable and had obviously worked in the industry for many years.


We covered a lot of information however there were particular categories which stood out for me: the types of life boats and rafts and their contents. Also personal survival equipment. For a young man who has never worked offshore I found this theoretical exercise gave me lots of valuable information I knew very little about.

Joe Hancher Junior Reporter



We took a short fifteen minute break in the middle and then resumed our lecture.


Around about mid-day the books were pushed aside and we broke for lunch, which was fantastic with wide variety of choice from Chicken Kiev to stew in an enormous Yorkshire pudding. Even salads (safe to say no one chose the salad!). I guess to sum it all up the large menu slightly surprised me especially when I got my stew and pudding as the quality was phenomenal.


At 1pm we went back to the classroom and ran over all the practical exercises we would be doing in the session.

The practical exercises were good fun and very enjoyable; almost like an assault course in water, however it does bring the harsh reality of how cruel the elements can be and how these what seem like simple exercises could save your and possibly countless other lives in a situation of danger at sea.


We changed into our swimming gear in a very small changing room. My group were taken to the poolside where we suited up into our survival suits and did buoyancy tests to make sure you could swim with no life vest.

We then put the life vests on and they remained on for the duration of the practical session. A very physically demanding part is backstroke in a survival suit and trying to flip over a rolled over life raft. However I would like to point out that the well trained staff kept us safe at every moment of every exercise.


Shortly after getting changed (around 3pm) we made our way over to the main building to sign our certificates; important note to remember this certificate lasts five years and must be renewed after this period.


I must commend HOTA and thank them for sharing their knowledge and time with me I would be very interested in doing another course and highly recommend this professional service with a great attitude towards safety… not just at sea but in their own facility.

Joe Hancher Reporter

Wind Energy Network

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