Surf Life Saving WA’s state government-funded Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service returned to WA skies over the weekend as their 2023/24 patrol season commenced.
The helicopters, based out of North Fremantle and Busselton, flew a combined 996 hours along WA’s coast between September 2022 and April 2023 and are a key component of the WA government’s shark mitigation strategy.
Surf Life Saving WA President Heidi Gan said the helicopters play a critical role in helping keep West Australian beachgoers safe.
“The presence of our helicopters really does provide peace of mind for West Australian beachgoers, knowing that our crew is looking out for their safety and that of their families”, said Ms Gan.
“Last season, the Service initiated more than 90 metropolitan and south west beach closures and warned nearly 4,500 people out of the water due to the presence of sharks. This activity alone demonstrates its important role in coastal safety.”
The Service also experienced a 75% increase in requests for assistance in search and rescue activity.
“WA’s surf life saving club volunteer Lifesaver patrols commence in October; however, there are still many locations along our vast coastline that on-beach patrols cannot cover”, said Ms Gan.
“This Service is essential in providing patrol coverage to many of these popular beaches where we are not able to have these on-beach patrols in place, including many locations in our south west.”
“We thank the State Government for their support of our Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service and for their continued confidence in us to provide these critical services to the West Australian community”.
The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service is funded by the State Government and proudly partnered by Westpac.
Find out more about the service here
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