The West Coast is a very large area, and some of it very remote – with lots of potentially dangerous businesses such as mining, forestry, fishing and also adventure activities like white water kayaking, rafting & mountain biking. (Not to mention the tourists in campervans who drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road and run into the locals.)
So a Rescue helicopter is pretty much essential, as there is really only the one hospital on our side of the mountains. We went to the Open Day for the local Solid Energy Rescue Helicopter service. (Solid Energy is one on the local mining companies that sponsors the helicopter.)
We watched a ‘pretend’ rescue, and looked around at the other displays:
Of course we ate the obligatory barbequed sausages, brought a raffle ticket (this was a fundraiser after all) and caught up on the goss with every second person there. Which is what happens when you live in a small town. We did not bounce on the bouncy castle (though given half a chance I would have!!) or have our faces painted, but that’s all we missed!
Here are the pictures. First the helicopter does a fly-over to check out the situation. Then the rescuer is dropped, and a flare close by. And on the third fly over the rope is dropped and they are winched in again.