Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service statistics for the 2020/21 season

Shark Sightings

234 Metro
326 South West


Patrol Hours

508 Metro
481 South West


Number of Patrols

440 Metro
267 South West


Number of people cleared

5,005 Metro
1,584 South West

6,589 PEOPLE

SLSWA operates two helicopters – the Perth Metropolitan service, and the South West service.

The Perth service is based at Rous Head in Fremantle, performing coastal surveillance patrols and emergency response missions throughout the greater Perth metropolitan area; from Mandurah in the south to Yanchep in the north and around Rottnest Island. Our Perth based service is operational from September to April each year.

The South West service, based out of the Busselton Margaret River Airport, operates from September to April each year with a focus on providing coastal surveillance patrols on weekends and holidays (public and school) over popular coastal destinations between Bunbury and Hamelin Bay.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service plays a crucial role in coastal safety & identifying emergencies along the WA coast.


2021/22 Season – Service dates

Month Metro South West
Sep 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th – 30th (inclusive) 4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th – 30th (inclusive)
Oct Daily 1st – 8th (inclusive) & 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th, 30th, 31st
Nov Daily 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th – 30th (inclusive)
Dec Daily Daily
Jan Daily Daily
Feb Daily 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th
Mar Daily 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th 
Apr Daily 2nd, 3rd, 9th – 25th (inclusive), 30th 

The WLRHS in WA has been operating from Fremantle since 2008 and Busselton since 2013 and is proudly supported by the Government of Western Australia; and Westpac, who in 2017 renewed their partnership with Surf Life Saving for a further 5 years, taking the national partnership to 49 years – one of the longest community partnerships in Australia!

Not sure what to do if our helicopter sounds its siren while you are in the water?

Visit our Coastal Safety page for more information.