Students at Comet Bay Primary School today learnt about how to keep safe at Western Australia’s beaches, as they met the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew who patrol the WA coastline.
Surf Life Saving WA’s Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service provides a vital free community service to West Australians each year, carrying out search and rescue missions, beach patrols and aerial surveillance, operating from its bases at Fremantle and Busselton.
Amy Hodgson, Westpac Regional General Manager WA South, 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 support the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service and help educate our young West Australians about emergency services in their local community,” Ms Hodgson says.
“In bringing the Westpac chopper to Comet Bay Primary School, the WA Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew provided important safety tips and advice on how students can avoid getting into danger at local beaches and stay safe during an emergency.
“The session was great fun and interactive, as students watched the helicopter land at their school, then asked the crew and pilot specific questions about flying, rescues and beach patrols.
“They also saw the state-of-the-art lifesaving equipment designed to help the crew deal with emergency situations.”
In Western Australia, coastal and ocean drowning deaths are currently up 110% compared to this time last year, with 21 fatalities.
So far this season, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter services in WA have conducted 654 patrols over 748 hours.
Timothy Gleeson has been a Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew member for two seasons and admits it’s very rewarding to work in a role to help keep West Australians safe at the beach.
“Delivering important water safety messages is what today is all about. The kids often have many questions for us and are thrilled to see the helicopter land and take off at their school.
“It’s great to be able to educate primary school children about how to stay safe when visiting the beach, what to do during an emergency and the important role of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter and emergency services within the community.”
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service has been helping West Australians for the past 12 years. The service is operational every patrol season from September until April patrolling from Mandurah to Yanchep and east to Rottnest Island and between Bunbury and Hamelin Bay.
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