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RAC Rescue clocks 10,000 missions

RAC Rescue Press Release | May 7, 2024

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 24 seconds.

On April 24, 2024, RAC Rescue of Western Australia (WA) completed the 10,000th mission since the inception of the service in August 2003.

During this time, the helicopters have flown over 2.1 million kilometers and transported more than 6,700 patients.

RAC has been supporting WA’s only 24/7 emergency rescue helicopter service since 2003. Since then, the RAC Rescue helicopters have flown more than 9,500 missions.

The RAC Rescue helicopters respond to a wide range of emergencies including:

  • Land and maritime search-and-rescue
  • Road crash rescue
  • Industrial and agricultural rescue incidents
  • Emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB), personal location beacon (PLB) and emergency locater transmitter (ELT) activations
  • Flood and cyclone rescue and relief missions
  • Aircraft crashes and incidents
  • Cliff and vessel helicopter hoist rescues

Other operations include aerial intelligence and reconnaissance, 24-hour disaster and incident aerial mapping operations, emergency personnel and equipment transport and inter-hospital patient transport. 

A third RAC Rescue helicopter provides backup to ensure the two primary helicopters maintain an online status of more than 90 percent.

The backup helicopter can be mobilised to support all-hazards rescue operations, as it did during the Carnarvon floods, Tropical Cyclone Seroja, Kimberley floods, and the total solar eclipse in Exmouth. 

New rescue helicopters coming soon

The RAC Rescue helicopters will soon be replaced with new and improved twin-engine Leonardo AW139 helicopters. These State Government funded helicopters are being customized to the needs of emergency rescue helicopter crews and will increase the capability of this life-saving service. 

The new helicopters will decrease response times to people in need, with the capacity to fly 45 kilometers per hour faster and reach a top speed of 309 km/h.

They will also be able to fly out and back as far as Albany or Dongara without refuelling. This means RAC Rescue can deliver rapid support to more people in WA than ever before.

The cabin is also bigger, with the capacity to fit two stretchered patients and equipment or up to 10 seated passengers depending on the need. Paired with some of the most advanced aeromedical equipment and search-and-rescue technology, this new fleet upgrade will carry RAC Rescue well into the future.

Over the past five years, the RAC Rescue helicopters have a yearly average of:

  • Flying 148,686 mission kilometers
  • Flying more than 1,683 hours
  • Completing 681 missions
  • Transporting 481 patients 
  • Responding to 329 road crash rescue incidents

View the 20 Year RAC Rescue milestone timeline.

On May 4, 2023, RAC Rescue completed its 9,500th rescue mission since the inception of the service in August 2003. In that time over 6,500 patients have been transported and over 2 million kilometers travelled across WA.

This press release was prepared and distributed by RAC Rescue.

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