The pilots and crew of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS) are urging all recreational remotely piloted aircraft (drone) users, to know the risk they present to the service and other low flying emergency services.
The WLRHS’s Caloundra based aircraft, Lifesaver 46, was recently conducting a training operation off Kings Beach, Caloundra. Pilot and Safety Officer David O’Brien spotted a drone flying nearby while they were still winching the ‘patient’ into the cabin.
Since its inception more than a century ago, the surf lifesaving movement has delivered a vital service to communities across the state.
In Queensland, the movement dates all the way back to February 1909 when a group of volunteers used a traditional line and belt to pull four women and a man from a treacherous rip at Greenmount Beach on the Gold Coast.
It was the first recorded rescue along Queensland’s coastline and, since then, SLSQ lifesavers and lifeguards have plucked more than 140,000 people from the surf.