It was an exciting event – enjoying the sunny weather out on the oval listening to the throbbing engine of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter as it approached and landed. The crew: Matt Wenman, Brad Cowan and pilot Stefan Hilderbrand explained the role of the rescue helicopter in the south west, to a huge crowd of students.
This includes locating rip currents and incidents on beaches, as well as identifying risks from marine life, including sharks. The services are also regularly tasked with assisting Water Police and other agencies in search and rescue activities. [www.mybeach.com.au]
Students learned firsthand a number of practical tips for beach safety, including: how to recognise a rip and what to do if you are caught in one –
“Don’t panic and swim to the side.”
They also learnt to ask surfers and others in the water for help if they get into trouble and that the helicopter will put on the siren and circle any big sharks they see in the water – that’s the sign to clear the water quickly.
Matt demonstrated the equipment they use by getting a student to put it all on, as he explained its use.
We were left with a sense of security knowing this competent team were in our local skies over our beaches, ready to warn of impending danger as well as being ready to act swiftly in search and rescue missions. Thank you for the work you do and for visiting our school!
This is a ‘highlights video clip’ of their visit.
Written, photos and clip posted by D. Veary