The fundraising Manager for Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter (Lismore), Zeke Huish, said this grant provides the necessary funds to purchase a life raft that will improve the service’s ability to respond effectively to missions over water.
Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Crewman Todd Seymour with the new life raft
'To receive the generous support of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts is a tremendous benefit to our Service and the northern NSW region,' Mr Huish explained.
The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter is a charity based in Lismore which provides an aero-medical rescue service to the residents and visitors of northern NSW. On average, the service performs six to seven missions per week ranging from responding to accidents/emergencies, transporting patients between hospitals and performing search & rescues.
The service is free of charge to the community and since its inception in 1982, it has now flown over 7200 missions.
Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service (Lismore) supports a region of over 80,000 square kilometres, which includes 40,000 square kilometres of ocean. Not only does it support a community of over 400,000 residents, it is also on standby to respond to vessels and their crew that pass up and down the regions coastline each day.
CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen announced the funding: 'Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter Service operates an essential aero-medical rescue service to the people of northern NSW and the wider community. This grant will allow the purchase of vital rescue equipment and delivers on one of the goals of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts - to actively contribute to key volunteer marine, search and rescue organizations Australia-wide,' Allen said.
The CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) was set up as a charitable trust in 1999 as a result of the tragic events of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The CYCA SOLAS Trusts objectives are to:
• Provide assistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races
• Make donations and provide support to search and rescue organisations
• Foster and fund research and training to improve safety and rescue procedures and equipment used in ocean races.
Since they were established in 1998 following the loss of life in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race that year, the Trusts have donated more than $840,000 to organisations Australia-wide and the Trusts continues to explore new organisations to support.