Summer Safety family

Surf Life Saving WA’s Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service is proudly partnered by Westpac and supported by the Government of Western Australia. 

Playing a crucial role in coastal safety and identifying emergencies, the highly-trained crews are on the lookout for people in distress as they perform regular patrols along the West Australian coastline.

This includes locating rip currents and incidents on beaches, as well as identifying risks from marine life, including sharks. The service is also regularly tasked with assisting Water Police and other agencies in search and rescue activity.

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

Shark Sightings

234 Metro
326 South West


560 SIGHTINGS

Patrol Hours

508 Metro
481 South West


990 HOURS

Number of Patrols

440 Metro
267 South West


707 PATROLS

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 in WA has been operating from Fremantle since 2008 and Busselton since 2013 and is proudly supported by the Government of Western Australia and partnered by 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.