I am responsible for ensuring both Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters in Western Australia are operationally ready. That means I need to ensure all of our crew are trained and our mission critical equipment stays serviceable. I also fly onboard the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters, typically as part of our metro services, as part of our scheduled patrols.
How long have you been part of the WLSRHS?
I started with the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service in October 2019.
What inspired you to join the WLSRHS?
What really inspired me to join the service seeing the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters operate in the Eastern States while growing up. I always admired the work they did and thought it looked like an amazing job. When I moved to Perth, I saw Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters operating along our coastlines and it was then that I pursued a crew position.
What is your motivation of working / helping for the community?
My motivation for being part of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service is knowing that I can and do have a positive impact on my community. I enjoy supporting our Lifesavers and Lifeguards on the beach. Being able to use our elevated perspective to spot hazards or people in trouble and then alerting our team members on the beach to be able to respond in a timely manner is really satisfying.
Have you been involved in any interesting tasking / patrol situations?
On the 11th of December 2020 I was taking part in a patrol along the metro coastline when we spotted an very large white shark off Cottesloe beach. It was so surreal descending towards the shark and getting a real appreciation for its size and how calmly it was cruising at the surface. However, we knew the shark presented a hazard to beachgoers as it was about 200m offshore at the time. So we immediately alerted SurfCom and began clearing the water and advising people on the beach by activating our onboard siren. Later that day we were able to work with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and help them locate the shark to ensure it could be safely tagged and released. When we landed we learned that DPIRD had measured the shark and it came it at an astonishing 5.3 meters long!
We are always doing our best to keep beachgoers safe along our iconic coastline. If you ever hear our siren as we fly over you, please heed the warning, get out and stay out of the water for at least an hour.
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25 . 06 . 2019
Dr Leesa Equid
Appointed to the SLSWA Board in July 2019, Leesa is SLSWA’s Honorary Medical Officer and 2015 SLSWA DHL Lifesaver of the Year. As an active member of Swanbourne Nedlands SLSC since 2009, she has held Higher Education and First Aid Officer positions at her club, and was a member of the SLSWA Lifesaving Advisory Committee […]
13 . 10 . 2017
Heidi Gan OLY
Appointed to the SLSWA Board in September 2017. Heidi is a two-time Olympian in the sport of open water swimming, has competed at the world championships in both surf lifesaving and swimming, and is a multiple medallist at both the State and National Surf Lifesaving Championships. Sporting success aside, Heidi is an Associate in the […]
21 . 03 . 2017
Craig Smith-Gander AM
Elected as President of SLSWA in August 2014. Craig is a former president of North Cottesloe SLSC and a life member of the club. He is a past Chair of Surf Sports for SLSWA and past member of the Australian Surf Sports Advisory Board. Craig is the owner and Managing Director of Kwik Logistics, Director […]