My Beach

Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter drops in on Singleton Primary School

On Wednesday, more than 600 Singleton Primary School students were treated to a special visit from Surf Life Saving WA’s Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, allowing students to meet the crew that patrols Western Australia’s beaches from the sky and learn about keeping safe along the coast.

The landing takes place as the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service celebrates its 50th anniversary nationally. In partnership with Surf Life Saving Australia, Westpac (then Bank of New South Wales) has proudly supported the Service since it began in 1973, making it one of the longest community partnerships in Australia.

In Western Australia, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service plays a vital role in keeping beachgoers safe, conducting aerial surveillance, beach patrols, and search and rescue missions with helicopters based out of Fremantle and Busselton.

A busy 2022/23 season saw the Service carry out 745 patrols, 42 search and rescue missions, and instigate more than 91 beach closures across nearly 1,000 hours of flying time.

Westpac Regional General Manager Daniel Muggeridge says students heard first-hand from the crew who dedicate their lives to helping others in the community when they need it most.

“Westpac is proud to continue its longstanding support of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service and help educate our young people about emergency services.

“During the holidays and throughout the summer, we know lots of students will be out and about exploring our amazing coastline, so it’s also an important time to remind young West Australians about keeping safe.

“The interactive session is very exciting for Singleton Primary School students, as they can see up-close the state-of-the-art lifesaving equipment designed to help the crew keep WA’s beaches safe. It’s a fun exercise for everyone,” said Daniel.

Tim Gleeson, Surf Life Saving WA’s Helicopter Services Coordinator, says it’s very rewarding to work in a role focused on keeping the community safe.

“Seeing the helicopter flying into a school and the children’s faces light up with excitement is always a highlight for the team.

“As you can imagine, the kids are incredibly excited seeing the helicopter land and take off. It is a really great opportunity for them to see what it takes to operate the Service and how it helps keep beachgoers safe,” said Tim.

In WA, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service is operational every year from September through April, with the metro service patrolling from Mandurah to Yanchep and east to Rottnest Island, while the south-west Service patrols between Bunbury and Hamelin Bay.

Find out more about SLSWA’s Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service here.