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Taber, M. J.: (accepted) Simulation fidelity and contextual interference in helicopter underwater egress training: An analysis of training and retention of egress skills. Safety Science.



In an effort to explore influencing factors related to survival, the following paper outlines an argument to incorporate more realistic simulator fidelity, contextual interference (CI), and skill acquisition during helicopter underwater egress training for the offshore oil and gas industry. Previous skill acquisition research is used to frame specific forms of training while highlighting the differences in current methodological approaches that may influence survival following a ditching. By examining distinct domains, a discussion of fidelity (physical and cognitive) and CI (i.e., making the training more memorable by increasing the difficulty and variability of tasks in a random order) is grounded in performance outcomes from real-world helicopter ditchings reports from 2000 to 2011. Based on the ditching event evidence gained from 97 accident reports, recommendations are made for increasing the level of fidelity and CI during this specialized emergency response training program. The accident reports are also used to develop a list of tasks that should be completed in three distinct phases of an event and should be considered in the preparation of offshore workers for a real-world ditching.


Keywords: Underwater egress; Survival; Fidelity; Contextual interference; Skill acquisition

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