Press Release – Westpac Rescue Helicopter
The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter has had its busiest Christmas and New Year holiday period on record with almost fifty per cent more missions than last year.
The rescue choppers completed 65 missions between 24 December and 6 January, compared to 44 missions for the same period 12 months ago.
The busiest regions were the summer hot spots of Waiheke Island and Thames/Coromandel.
Thames/Coromandel had a big increase in missions with more than triple the number of rescues from the previous year.
Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust (ARHT) chief executive Bob Parkinson said having a helicopter based in Whitianga at a new hangar helped provide a more efficient service to the Coromandel region.
“The Coromandel is exceptionally busy over the Christmas period with many holiday makers, especially Aucklanders, choosing this as their destination of choice. With more people out on the water, on the road, and busy with holiday activities there is always an increase in a need for our services over the summer holiday period,” he said.
“Our dedicated team has stepped up to perform a record number of rescues over the holidays, despite the potential for fatigue.”
On each mission the helicopter flies with a pilot, paramedic, trauma doctor and a crewman.
One of the two rescue helicopters has been based at the new Whitianga hangar since Boxing Day and will remain there until the end of this month.
The second helicopter remains based at Mechanics Bay in Auckland to service the greater Auckland region.