September 6, 2013

Helicopter crews learn how to escape after crashing in the water

Crews from Monroe County’s Trauma Star rescue helicopter and from private operator Lifenet trained together this week, learning how to escape from a helicopter that crashes into the water.

Lee County’s Waterbourne Strike team offered the training, which shows participants what it is like to be trapped inside an aircraft underwater, and how to safely get out without panicking. The training was offered at Florida Keys Community College.

See video, courtesy of Sheriff’s Office Aviation Director Brooks Bateman.

In the photo and video: The floating cage-like structure is used to simulate a helicopter cockpit. Students are strapped in and turned upside down in the water. They have to extricate themselves from the straps as instructors stand by in case they panic. Students are also trained in a “blackout” helmet to simulate escape in night-time conditions.

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