Safety & Rescue Services

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service

Surf Life Saving Western Australia operates two Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopters, with the services providing coverage to the Perth metropolitan area and the South-West of WA. 

About the Service

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter was launched in December 2008 and is a service provided by Surf Life Saving Western Australia (SLSWA). The helicopter service is proudly supported by the State Government of Western Australia, Westpac, who have been supporters of Surf Life Saving for 40 years and the Roberts Family.  

Metro Service

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter that services the Perth metropolitan area is based at Rous Head in Fremantle. The Service performs coastal surveillance patrols of the greater Perth metropolitan area, all the way from Mandurah in the south to Yanchep in the north and responds to emergency incidents.

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Fremantle is operational from September to April each year.

South West Service

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Busselton is based at Busselton. It operates from September to April each year on weekends, public holidays and school holiday periods.

Guidelines for Public Actions at Non Patrolled Beaches

  1. Helicopter will hover and sound siren to warn public out of the water if a shark is in close proximity.
  2. Helicopter will leave the site and continue patrolling after determining water users are safe on the land.
  3. Public to stay out of the water for 60 minutes from siren sounding.
  4. Public to check mobile devices for information updates:
    a. @SLSWA Twitter
    b. www.sharksmart.com.au
    c. www.beachsafe.org.au or the Beachsafe app.
  5. Subject to other activity Helicopter will return to the site within 60 minutes to complete a further area sweep and assess hazard level.
  6. If no further siren sounds from the Helicopter public can return to the water and continue aquatic activities.

SLSWA also provides the following recommendations to members of the public using beaches:

  • Follow and ALWAYS check the SLSWA Twitter, SharkSmart website or news web-sites for alerts & activity. (E.g. whale carcass, sightings); prior to entering the water.
  • Tune into the news bulletins on radio for latest updates.
  • Report known shark sightings to water police (9442 8600).
  • Never go into the marine environment alone. 
  • Where possible, swim in and close to areas under surveillance by Lifesavers.
  • Avoid aquatic activity either side of dusk and dawn.
  • Respect beach closure advisories by Local Governments or Police.
  • Avoid aquatic activity near river mouths or steep drop offs 
  • Acknowledge the presence of schools of fish, particularly bait fish.
  • Assist in advising other members of the public of known shark activity and beach closures.


You can download a copy of the Guidelines for Public Actions at Non Patrolled Beaches here.

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