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Northern NSW : Spring 2011
Fishing clubs assist From time to time our helicopter and crew are called to rescue people who are swept from rocks into the ocean. Most of these people are rock fishermen. The task of retrieving the person from the water or rocks is done by the rescue crewman who is winched down on a cable from the helicopter’s hoist. The hoist is operated by the air crewman whilst the pilot hovers the aircraft in the most advantageous and safe position. Such an incident occurred on Friday 17th June 2011 when a fisherman was washed into the sea and was able to find refuge on a rock below the lighthouse at Sugarloaf Point, Seal Rocks on the mid nor th coast of NSW. The rock was close to the cliff edge directly below the lighthouse in blustery 20-25 knot westerly winds. Large and unpredictable waves were frequently washing over the fisherman for close to an hour before the Westpac Rescue Helicopter team arrived and had safely winched the fisherman aboard the helicopter. He apparently suffered only minor abrasions requiring basic first aid treatment and was spotted fishing the next day at a much safer location. An onlooker who observed the entire operation said: “The skill and efficiency shown by the rescue team was fantastic and definitely leaves me feeling safer knowing they are there”. The prevention of these types of accidents has been addressed by the Federal Government by producing a website, literature and a DVD in English, Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese. It is introduced by Andrew Ettinghausen. For more information go to www.safefishing.com.au The Junction Inn Fishing Club from Raymond Terrace recently made their annual donation to the Service as a result of the H&D Home Timber and Hardware Twin Rivers Fishing Classic. Almost 300 fishermen competed for trophies and prizes in March 2011 for fish caught along the lower Paterson and Hunter Rivers. The funds were raised from entry fees, raffle and sale of T-Shirts. Club President Peter Kennedy said that the club’s committee selected the Service as the beneficiary because it was most likely the organisation that would help members in times of trouble. The Junction Inn Fishing Club is just one of over 60 Fishing Clubs in the region that donate to the Ser vice. Some of the Clubs that donate to the Service include Lake Cathie, Uralla Baitwasters, Bull & Bush at Medowie, Big Catch Social at Eleebana, Catho at Catherine Hill Bay, City Tavern at Tamworth, Pallmallawa Golden Grain Catch and Release, Kootingal Hotel, Old Bar Tavern, South Newcastle Rugby League, Thunderbolt and The Entrance Hotel. The perils of rock fishing The BELL 412SP hovering above the rock with the rescue crewman in red wetsuit tending to the fisherman. Page 4 Westpac Rescue Helicopter Ser vice - Rescue Spring 2011