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Rescue efforts deserve high praise

17th July, 2019

An overdue bushwalker who hunkered down in his tent with limited supplies for up to 10 days has been found alive near Lake St Clair.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania has commended all those involved in ensuring the safety and rescue of those impacted by the adverse weather in the Tasmanian highlands over the past week. 

The police search and rescue teams, helicopter pilots, paramedics and medical staff, SES and other search and rescue personnel did a fantastic job in the most difficult of circumstances. 

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Tasmania Chairman Tony Harrison said the organisation was particularly proud of its team that played an integral role in a number of rescues, including that of Victorian bushwalker, Michael Bowman. 

“The positive outcomes over the past few days are a credit to the skill, dedication and training of our expert crews” Mr Harrison said. 

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is an integral part of Tasmania’s emergency services and is available to anyone who may find themselves in a dangerous situation. Our highly skilled crew are called out daily for a variety of assignments - from bushwalker rescue missions in Tasmania’s rugged World Heritage Areas to motor vehicle accidents or to assist in extracting an injured fisherman from a trawler offshore. 

“That said it is a timely reminder for anyone planning to venture into the Tasmanian wilderness to have the appropriate equipment and clothing, and be aware of the prevailing and forecast weather conditions.” 

Mr Harrison said while the State Government provides funding for Westpac Rescue Helicopter missions through the Department of Police and Emergency Management, this funding was conditional on the Service raising complementary funding to maintain its operations, secure first-class rescue and medical equipment and train personnel. 

“We have a wonderful sponsor in Westpac, and other commercial supporters, but further sponsorship, as well as donations and benefactions from the Tasmanian community are vital to the continued operation of our service.” 

“The events of the past week and the performance of our rescue personnel demonstrate just how vital the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service is to the safety of Tasmanians and visitors to our State.” 

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