My Beach

Surf Life Saving WA’s (SLSWA) Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopters, funded by the State Government, will be back in the skies over Perth and the South West as of today (1st September) as the service kicks off for the 2018-19 season.

Last season, the longest to date thanks to $2.8m funding from the State Government, saw both helicopters remain in the air until 27 May, performing nearly 1000 patrol hours across more than 630 patrols and recording more than 500 shark sightings.

Initial early season patrols will see the helicopters operate over weekends, switching to daily across the September school holiday’s for the South West service.

“With our volunteer lifesaver beach patrols not commencing until October, the helicopters provide an important surveillance tool to spot not only potential dangers from marine life, but also conditions such as rips,” said SLSWA General Manager Chris Peck.

“Historically spring is one of the busiest times of the year on our coast when it comes to rescues, as many people head to the beach after the winter break and the swell is generally bigger than experienced over summer which can facilitate the presence of dangerous rip currents.”

While the helicopter patrols certainly add an element of safety, SLSWA continues to encourage beach goers to be aware of potential dangers and to make informed decisions before heading to the beach.

This can include accessing a number of resources including SLSWA’s twitter account @slswa for current warnings around shark sightings, beach closures, and other potentially dangerous conditions, and viewing live vision from many popular beaches via SLSWA’s beach cameras hosted on the SLSWA website.

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For full details around the 2018/19 season including our WLRH service patrol dates, visit the Coastal Safety page on our website.