Aerial Surveillance Supervisor – Helicopters

I am responsible for ensuring both Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters in Western Australia are operationally ready. That means I need to ensure all of our crew are trained and our mission-critical equipment stays serviceable. I also fly onboard the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters, typically as a member of our metro crew, as part of our scheduled patrols.

How long have you been part of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service?

Since October 2019.

Favourite WA beach?

Meelup Beach

Favourite food/meal?

Cambodian Amok Curry

Favourite holiday destination?

The Maldives. I did a boat tour and an overwater villa in 2019 and it was amazing!

Dogs or cats?

Dogs all day long!

What inspired you to join the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service?

What really inspired me to join the service was seeing the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters operate in the Eastern States while growing up. I always admired the work they did and thought it looked like an amazing job. When I moved to Perth, I saw Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters operating along our coastlines and it was then that I pursued a crew position.

What motivates you to work for the service and help the community?

My motivation for being part of the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service is knowing that I can and do have a positive impact on my community. I enjoy supporting our Lifesavers and Lifeguards on the beach. Being able to use our elevated perspective to spot hazards or people in trouble and then alerting our team members on the beach to be able to respond in a timely manner is really satisfying.

Have you been involved in any interesting tasking/patrol situation?

On December 11, 2020 I was taking part in a patrol along the metro coastline when we spotted a very large white shark off Cottesloe Beach. It was so surreal descending towards the shark and getting a real appreciation of its size and how calmly it was cruising at the surface. We knew the shark presented a hazard to beachgoers as it was about 200m offshore at the time, so we immediately alerted SurfCom and began clearing the water and advising people on the beach by activating our onboard siren.

Later that day we were able to work with the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and help them locate the shark to ensure it could be safely tagged and released. When we landed we learned that DPIRD had measured the shark and it came in at an astonishing 5.3 meters long!