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Chopper pays a visit | The West Australian

Students at Comet Bay Primary School have learnt how to keep safe at the beach after meeting the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew who patrol the coastline.

The crew landed the chopper at the school last week and spoke to students about their experiences as part of a rescue team.

Westpac Regional WA South general manager Amy Hodgson said the day was a fun and interactive way of teaching students beach safety.

“The crew will provide important safety tips and advice on how students can avoid getting into danger at local beaches and stay safe during an emergency,” she said.

“The session is great fun and interactive, as students can watch the helicopter land at their school, then ask the crew and pilot specific questions about flying, rescues and beach patrols.

“They also see close-up the state-of-the-art lifesaving equipment designed to help the crew deal with emergency situations.”

Ms Hodgson said in WA, coastal and ocean drowning deaths were up 110 per cent compared to this time last year, with 21 deaths overall.

So far this season, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters have conducted 654 patrols over 748 hours.

Timothy Gleeson, who has been a Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter crew member for two seasons, said it was very rewarding to work in a role to help keep West Australians safe at the beach.

“Delivering important water safety messages is what the day was all about,” he said.

“The kids often have many questions for us and are thrilled to see the helicopter land and take off.”

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