Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service statistics for the 2019/20 season

Shark Sightings

144 Metro
357 South West


Patrol Hours

519.3 Metro
521.4 South West

1,040.7 HOURS

Number of Patrols

465 Metro
288 South West


KM's Patrolled

57,699 Metro
57,933 South West

115,632 KM's

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.


2020/21 Season – Service dates:

Month Metro South West
Sep 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th, 27th 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th, 26th – 30th (inclusive)
Oct Daily 1st – 11th (inclusive) & 17th, 18th, 24th, 25th, 31st
Nov Daily 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st – 30th (inclusive)
Dec Daily Daily
Jan Daily Daily
Feb Daily 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th
Mar Daily 1st, 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th
Apr Daily 2nd – 18th (inclusive) & 24th, 25th, 26th

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.