Flying Fox dunkers
Sixteen members of the Royal Navy Reserve in Bristol have visited the Royal Naval Air Station in Yeovilton to experience underwater escape training.
The Underwater Escape Training Unit (UETU) is based at Yeovilton and has a reputation for taking nervous fliers and turning them in to confident individuals. Famous names have also been given the ‘treatment’ including Helen Skelton from Blue Peter and more recently Darren Gough, England Cricketer.
Lieutenant Henry Watts  organised the event for the team from HMS Flying Fox and said: “This is one of those special experiences you can only get in the armed forces, unless you’re a Blue Peter Presenter or famous cricketer of course, and it really builds confidence for flying operationally over water”.
This UETU simulates a helicopter crash on to water to allow training for personnel in escape procedures. After a safety brief and training presentation, the members of the Ship’s Company divided into teams of six to undertake the practical element. The UETU was set up to simulate an escape from a downed Lynx and each group made four separate controlled escapes: a familiarisation run, a full run in daylight, a full run in simulated twilight, and a full run in total darkness – which also turns upside down as it is submerged. The training aims to be safe but realistic and is designed to build confidence in the use of Survival Equipment and drill procedures. On completion of this training personnel will be safer and more confident when joining maritime platforms at sea by helicopter either during the day or at night.