Press Release – Auckland Regional Helicopter Trust
After a successful first attempt last year, the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter will this Easter again be a regular feature patrolling the Coromandel skies.
While one helicopter remains based at Mechanics bay in Auckland to service the greater Auckland region, a second will be based at Whitianga the long Easter weekend, providing extra safety for holiday-makers and locals.
The helicopter, which was based at Whitianga from Boxing Day until Anniversary Weekend, has already performed 58 missions to the Coromandel, Thames and Hauraki region this year.
That is already 45 per cent of the total number of missions to those areas for the whole of 2011.
The Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust had its busiest year on record last year, performing a total of 776 missions, a 24 per cent increase from 628 missions in 2010, and a rise of more than 65% in the last five years.
Trust chief executive Bob Parkinson says the numbers reflect the steadily-growing demand for the service and Coromandel, in particular, was a booming holiday destination during holidays and long weekends.
“The Coromandel community is incredibly enthusiastic about our service and the help it gives their local fire, police and search and rescue teams, and has asked that we come back to patrol this busy Easter holiday break,” he says.