When interest is in establishing extreme loads for wind turbines, it is common to either carry out extensive simulation studies or undertake a field measurement campaign. At the Blyth offshore wind farm in the UK, a 2 MW wind turbine was instrumented, and environment and load data were obtained in a previous study. Here, we discuss how such data, even though very limited, may be used along with parametric models to establish extreme loads associated with return periods on the order of 20–50 years. The environmental characteristics at the Blyth site are such that wind and waves are of primary importance. Distributions for the extreme mudline bending moment are established using parametric models. Long-term loads are derived for different wind regimes possible at the site and the results are compared. Using bootstrap techniques, the effect of variability in the parameters for load distribution is investigated. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.