My Beach

Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) state government funded Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter will return to the skies as of this Sunday, 1 September 2019­ through to 30 April 2020, with increased flying coverage and patrol hours across the coming season.

This season’s operations will see the south west service, based out of Busselton, extend their patrol flight path beyond Margaret River to Hamelin Bay, plus increased patrol hours across key school and public holidays. The North Fremantle based metro service will also see an increase in patrol hours across these periods.

Surf Life Saving WA General Manager, Lifesaving, Chris Peck says the service increases are in response to needs demonstrated through beach visitation patterns.

“This extended flight path, covering coastal areas south of Margaret River to Hamelin Bay, is in response to observed beach visitation as we increasingly see holiday makers and anglers heading to these locations during peak holiday periods.

“As many of these beaches are in areas where our volunteer lifesavers don’t patrol, the extended flight path and hours means we are able to provide coverage to these locations,” said Mr Peck.

Last season, the service performed nearly 900 patrol flying hours, covering almost 99,000 kms. During this time, there were 432 reported shark sightings; and 112 direct warnings which resulted in 2,114 people exiting the water. The service also participated in 16 search and rescue missions across the state.

With WA’s surf life saving club volunteer lifesaver patrols not commencing until October, the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopters provide an important service for beachgoers moving into the busy spring period.

“As the weather warms up, we start to see people heading back to the beach,” said Mr Peck.

“Coming off winter, the swell is traditionally larger than across the summer months, facilitating the formation of rips which often catch beachgoers out. The heli service plays an important role in not only observing marine life, but also in spotting rips and other coastal hazards.”

Kicking off from Sunday 1 September 2019, both services will patrol weekends only through until 29th September, when they will move to daily patrols across the October school holiday period. The metro service will then maintain daily patrols through until the end of season on 30 April 2020.

The south-west service will revert back to weekend only before again moving to daily services mid-November for across the peak school and Christmas holiday period.


Month Metro South West
Sep 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th, 30th 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th, 30th
Oct Daily 1st to 13th (inclusive), 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th
Nov Daily 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th to 30th (inclusive)
Dec Daily Daily
Jan Daily Daily
Feb Daily 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd, 29th
Mar Daily 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 28th, 29th
Apr Daily 4th, 5th, 10th to 27th (inclusive)


Photo credit: Sean Blocksidge, Margaret River Discovery Tours.