Missions

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service has flown over 80,000 missions. If your life has been changed by this amazing community-funded organisation, help spread the word and tell your story here.

Jireh Pannekoek

2015

Westpac Helicopter rescues Jireh and her family whilst stranded in the Tasmanian Mountains

My dad, my uncle and I decided to go on a six day hike in Craddle Mountain, Tasmania. We became stranded in the wilderness and it seemed like there was no way out. My dad was also getting really sick and we would have to rest often. We eventually found a hut off the trail where he could rest.

I was so excited when I saw the Westpac Rescue Helicopter come in. There were actually two trees between where they wanted to land, so they had to hover, and slowly come down. It was amazing how the pilot landed between the two trees just perfectly.

When I got on the helicopter, I couldn’t stop my smile. My dad was crying tears of joy because he knew everything was going to be okay but I was just so excited that we were on the helicopter.

When we landed the pilot gave me a bear and said he only gives it to brave kids. My dad is back to normal now, he’s fine but my mum and I have banned him from going on any more big hikes like that, only little day hikes!

Jackson Butler

2015

Westpac Helicopter called to rescue Jackson after suffering severe burns

The afternoon before my annual school concert I came home with a sore throat. When I told my mum, she remembered that my singing teacher recommended steam inhalation to clear sore throats. As I was holding onto the bowl, I leant back to cough and spilt the whole bowl of boiling water onto my stomach and legs.  I stripped off my clothes and ran straight down the hallway into the shower as mum called the ambulance. The ambulance officers came in, they assessed me and decided to call in the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

Even though I was in a lot of pain, I remember feeling really safe and cared for as the helicopter crew members kept reassuring me that I was going to be alright.

It’s been a year since the accident now, I’m back into everything, I’m riding motorbikes again, I’m singing, I’m playing guitar again. Thank you to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service for rescuing me and getting me to the hospital quickly.

Sofia Sinclair

2015

Sofia’s father was rushed to hospital after falling from roof

The night of the accident my family was going to watch football but the antenna wasn’t working so dad went up on the roof to try and fix it. We heard a big bang and then my dad calling for my mum. It turned out my dad fell through the roof of my house and broke his leg badly.

The ambulance arrived first and called the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to a nearby oval.

When I first saw my dad going into the helicopter I was worried, but when I saw the helicopter take off I was pleased to see that dad was going to the hospital.

I saw dad the next day in the hospital and it was relief to see him alright. Now my dad’s back to normal and working. Thank you for the ambulance and the helicopter crew for saving my dad.

Brett Chapman

2013

Man air rushed to hospital with infection scare

In June this year my father (retired Westpac Bank Manager) became very ill with his body going into septic shock following a very aggressive infection.

It was quickly determined that he needed more care than could be provided in the local base hospital. The team from the Westpac Rescue service prepared us for the worst as he was not expected to survive. He was flown from Port Macquarie to John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle with the incredible team doing all they could in the air. It's late October now and while he is still not fully recovered, if the Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service was not there we would not have Dad with us today.

David Kidd

2013

Helicopter rescues young boy after motorbike accident

In 2013 my 13 year old son Will was riding his motorbike on our property and hit a fallen over tree.

His motorbike was crushed and we found his helmet 15m away.

When the ambulance arrived, they said he would have to be airlifted to Hospital.

They immediately called the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. In about 10mins we heard and saw the lights of the helicopter come over the hill and land next to where Will was lying in the paddock.

As soon as the crew got out, they made us feel like everything was going to be alright and told my wife that she could go with them in the helicopter. I watched the helicopter take off towards Tamworth, not really knowing how bad William was and if he was was going to survive.

Whenever our family see the Westpac Helicopter it now gives us a shiver up our spine and gives us the feeling that we are safe and everything is going to be alright.

Rodney Russell

2013

Quick air evacuation saves man’s life

I was on Radiance of the seas enjoying a cruise when I collapsed while playing Basketball.

The ships doctor called in the Westpac helicopter to airlift me to hospital. After scans they discovered I had a grade 4 sub arachnoid Haemorrhage. I was then airlifted again to Newcastle hospital for specialist treatment. I have made a full recovery from what could have been a fatal condition if it wasn't for the quick evacuation from the ship by the rescue helicopter. I owe my life to the crew. My story is currently on the cover of the Northern Regions Newsletter.

Russell & Melissa Burrows

2013

Quick thinking of helicopter crew saves life of meningococcal victim

I want to start by saying you guys are amazing.

The link I have posted below is the story of my 2.5 year boy Lucas who nearly died this year from meningococcal. The link shows the early stages right through to his recovery. He would not have survived if it was not for the quick thinking and fast operation of the Westpac Helicopters. I will be donating $365 a year to represent every day he is alive.

Thanks Westpac Helicopters.

Regards Lucas and the Burrows family.

http://ourmeningococcalsurvivor.blogspot.com.au/ 

Scott Smiles

2012

Father and son weekend ends in mid sea rescue

I'd like to say thank you to pilot, Peter Yates, for rescuing us in January 2012.

When we set off that morning for what was meant to be a relaxed sailing trip, I could have never imagined it almost ending in tragedy. My neighbour Rick and I had done everything right before setting off - checked the boat, the sea conditions and packed an emergency beacon. We were taking our two sons, Riley and Ryan, out on the boat for a boy's weekend.

Three hours in, we saw smoke coming from the engine of our 40ft cruiser. The boat began sinking rapidly and in a matter of minutes we were forced to jump into the ocean. All four of us were treading water and clinging to a single Esky for over an hour. I set off the beacon and not long after, we saw the Westpac Rescue Helicopter appear in the distance. I can't tell you the relief we felt.

We are forever grateful to the Service that our boys got home safe that day. 

Kylie Sternbeck

2012

Rural family man saved by helicopter after cow trampling

I would like to say a big thank you to you guys. You didn't save my life, you saved my dad's after he was trampled by a cow at Wollombi last year.

He ended up with head injuries but could have died if it wasn't for you guys. As his oldest child, thanks very much. My children and grandchildren's lives would have been very different today. 

Josie O'Brien

2012

Woman suffers heart attack and two minor strokes on mountain walk

Last October, I was rescued from Cradle Mountain in Tasmania after falling seriously ill (suffering a heart attack and two minor strokes) whilst on a guided walk on the Overland Track.

The Tasmanian Westpac Rescue Helicopter, Tasmanian Police Search and Rescue, State Emergency Services and Ambulance Tasmania personnel were all involved in my safe retrieval from the mountain in very difficult conditions, and my safe transfer to hospital in Tasmania.

When I was finally well enough to return to Sydney I committed to raise funds for the Tasmanian Westpac Rescue Helicopter and the Emergency Services teams in Tasmania.

This was a remarkable event in my life and the best part is that Westpac is supporting my team and I to support our community by sharing our time, expertise and generosity of spirit. The Tasmanian Air Rescue Trust presented me with a model of the Rescue Helicopter that was involved in my rescue. I look at it every day I come to work and think how fortunate I was to have this service available to me.

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