March 10, 2021

GWO Sea Survival update

On April 6, 2021, an update of the GWO Basic Safety Training Standard’s Sea Survival course module will be published.

The most significant changes include a simplification of some lessons which are covered by other course modules within the GWO Basic Safety Training Standard and the addition of some learning objectives to reflect the risks and hazards that course participants might encounter when they will be working offshore .

Summarising the changes, Thomas Grønlund, Senior Project Manager at Global Wind Organisation, explained: “Every alteration we have made is to improve the learning experience.
“For example, one of the lessons is on how to release and inflate the life raft. We used to train this by throwing the self-inflating raft into the water during a practical lesson but realised this wasn’t achieving the learning objective as fully as it could. We adapted the lesson and switched to the domain of knowledge so instructors might decide to explain the procedure in class with a video rather than with one time exercise in the water. The reason is to have the possibility to pause and repeat the video as the instructor is describing the lesson, with the possibility to point out details to all course participants that otherwise might be missed during the in-person simulation.”

Further updates include changes to the exercise of donning the sling while the course participants are in the water during a helicopter rescue simulation will also become a skill that all course participants will need to train. The motivation behind this change is to mitigate the risk of panic in case of the absence of a rescue swimmer.

The required equipment for Training Providers will also be updated and three more items will be necessary to organise a GWO Sea Survival course module. Training Providers will need to have a ladder simulating a WTG boat landing suitable for practicing safe transfer between ladder and boat, a boat suitable for practicing safe transfer to and from WTG ladder and boat landing, and an emergency descend device.

Other smaller changes are described in the change log in the document.

Why has GWO updated the Sea Survival course?

GWO strives to achieve the highest quality for its training standards and reviews its portfolio frequently to maintain its effectiveness as a risk mitigation. Whenever the Training Committee and GWO stakeholders express the need to update or improve one of the training standards, a working group is created and led by a Training Project Manager to analyse and adjust the standard as a reflection of dynamic working conditions in the wind industry.


Training Project Manager Thomas Grønlund explains the importance of reviewing the training standards so often:

GWO works primarily with its member companies and stakeholders from the network of the GWO Training Providers to develop Training Standards. In this way, we assure that the needs and point of view of both employers and the training teams are covered to create a training standard as accurately as possible. However, the wind energy industry is changing and improving at a very fast pace, and often the development in the industry translates to new scenarios for the risks and safety of wind employees. For this reason, GWO needs to review standards on a regular basis.

Thank you to our Sea Survival course module working group participants

Training Project Manager Thomas Grønlund worked together with the members of the working group to improve the training standard and implement the changes.

Global Wind Organisation would like to thank our member and subject matter experts for providing considerable time and resources in delivering this complex project on time for the benefit of our industry.

  • Lee Walker, MHI Vestas Offshore
  • Alfred Naskret, Gdynia MaritimeSchool
  • Roel Proesmans, RelyOnNutec, BE
  • Chriss Robertsen, HOTA
  • Mads Vang Posselt, Maersk Training
  • Ian Rook, HOTA
  • Jonathan Battye, RelyOn Nutec
  • Simon Ellis, Global Wind Technology
  • Fergus Lynch, AISGroup UK

What can you do to prepare for the new version of the GWO Sea Survival module?

Training providers and certification bodies are encouraged to review the new versions. Please read the changelog at the beginning of each document.


The GWO Secretariat will shortly host webinars to provide guidance and take questions from stakeholders. Please follow the links below to sign up.