Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service
Surf Life Saving Queensland’s Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service is one of the oldest community-based helicopter rescue services in the world, operating across South East Queensland for the past 37 years. With a highly-trained team of skilled men and women, the service exists for one purpose – to save lives.
The Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service is our eyes in the sky and allows Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) to patrol a vast area of Queensland's coastline from Rainbow Beach to Rainbow Bay. The service patrols the South-East Queensland coast and carries out beach surveillance, shark warnings, preventative actions, missing person searches and rescues in the water and on the beach.
The Westpac Lifesaver Helicopter Rescue Service is also used for emergency response, searches and winches away from the beach, working in conjunction with emergency service organisations including the Queensland Police Service, Queensland Ambulance Service, State Emergency Service and hospital emergency staff.
At the beginning of the 2010 season, SLSQ began operating two helicopters in South-East Queensland. SLSQ’s Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Rescue Service consists of:
The EC135 – ‘Lifesaver 5’ – was gifted to SLSQ by the State Government in 2009 and is based at Carrara to service the Gold Coast region. This new helicopter offers greater operational capabilities particularly in assisting other service providers in search and rescue operations.
The Squirrel – ‘Lifesaver 6’ – has been relocated to service the Sunshine Coast, thanks to additional funding from Westpac to operate both services.
Both helicopters patrol on weekends during the regular patrol season (September-May) and during other peak periods. They are also available to be tasked by emergency service organisations.
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