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Wesfarmers Lifesaver Jet-Ski Teams are rapid, motorised response units, which assist Surf Life Saving patrols by providing coastal surveillance and by performing rescues.
The teams are also on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week to be tasked by Surf Life Saving services, or by WA Police and other emergency service organisations to assist with rescues, searches and body retrieval missions.
Ultimately the teams exist to provide another layer of support in keeping WA’s beaches and aquatic environments safe.
The main craft used by the Wesfarmers Lifesaver teams in Western Australia is the Rescue Water Craft (RWC) or ‘jet-ski'.
Lifeguards, particularly in the Hawaii, have improved the ability of the jet-skis to be used in rescues. Although it cannot cater for the same number of patients as the IRB, it offers an operational capacity that makes it ideal for use by lifeguard and specialist services.
The jet-ski was introduced into Western Australia in the 2003/2004 season primarily as a rapid response Search and Rescue resource for assistance to WA Police. The roles of the jet-ski teams have grown to include assisting with performing rescues in difficult conditions and performing early morning surveillance patrols of swimmers along the Perth coast.
Wesfarmers have supported Surf Life Saving WA’s jet-ski teams since February 2008 and this support has allowed for growth of the program placement of new teams at key locations along the West Australian coastline.