Wind turbines must be designed in such a way that they can survive in extreme environmental conditions. Therefore, it is important to accurately estimate the extreme design loads. This paper deals with a recently proposed method for obtaining short-term extreme values for the dynamic responses of offshore fixed wind turbines. The 5 MW NREL wind turbine is mounted on a jacket structure (92 m high) at a water depth of 70 m at a northern offshore site in the North Sea. The hub height is 67 m above tower base or top of the jacket, i.e. 89 m above mean water level. The turbine response is numerically obtained by using the aerodynamic software HAWC2 and the hydrodynamic software USFOS. Two critical responses are discussed, the base shear force and the bending moment at the bottom of the jacket. The extreme structural responses are considered for wave-induced and wind-induced loads for a 100 year return-period harsh metocean condition with a 14.0 m significant wave height, a 16 s peak spectral period, a 50 m s − 1 (10 min average) wind speed (at the hub) and a turbulence intensity of 0.1 for a parked wind turbine. After performing the 10 min nonlinear dynamic simulations, a recently proposed extrapolation method is used for obtaining the extreme values of those responses over a period of 3 h. The sensitivity of the extremes to sample size is also studied. The extreme value statistics are estimated from the empirical mean upcrossing rates. This method together with other frequently used methods (i.e. the Weibull tail method and the global maxima method) is compared with the 3 h extreme values obtained directly from the time-domain simulations. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.