The PHI Aviation team based in Western Australia has been kept busy over the past few months, undertaking a number of rescues in support of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Our search and rescue (SAR) work and support for AMSA is a critical part of our community contribution in Western Australia and undoubtedly has saved many lives over the years.
No two days – or rescues – are the same for the crew. Our SAR work operates 24/7 and spans both offshore and inland emergencies. We are called in to undertake emergency rescues, respond to health emergencies and provide transportation to hospitals, and undertake search operations in the instance of overturned or missing vessels.
The crew has recently undertaken two critical lifts from cruise ships off the coast of Broome, Western Australia. On both occasions, the patients were airlifted and transported to Broome Hospital.
The team was also called on to provide support to a multi-agency response to an incident at Horizontal Falls in Talbot Bay, in the Buccaneer Archipelago. The helicopter routed from Broome to recover personnel from a floating pontoon, where they were being treated, following a serious boating incident.
The rescues are carried out on Sikorsky S-92 search and rescue helicopters, which are operated by PHI Aviation from its Broome Airport Base, and which usually provide 24/7 SAR and aeromedical evacuation services in support of our clients.
An intensive training program ensures our SAR crew is always rescue-ready. Becoming one of the SAR crew requires dedication, determination and a good level of physical fitness.
Our crews also undertake Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (TBOSIET). This course involves a series of offshore safety elements, including Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET), firefighting, smoke/zero visibility ship escape and Underwater Emergency Breathing System (UEBS) training.
The learning never stops, with the crew also undertaking training in the operation of the forward-looking infrared (FLIR) camera and night vision goggles (NVG), along with medical training, crew resource management training, aeronautical radio operations, SAR observer and aircraft voice-marshalling training also involved as part of SAR training.
Saving lives and giving back to the community is all part of a day’s work for our SAR crew.
PHI Commercial Manager – APAC Gordon Watt spoke to CHANNEL 7 TV about PHI’s involvement in critical SAR missions; check out the interview below.
Watch the Network 10 interview from June 2022 with our SAR crew.