Westpac chopper marks 6999th flight, but donations needed

ONE of Australia's most critical rescue helicopters is screaming out for funds after flying its 6999th mission last week.

The Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter has helped save many Australian lives and is asking the public to not take them for granted.

Air Crew chief Roger Fry said the rescue milestone was a reminder of the thousands of lives which have been touched by the helicopter thanks to the community's support.

"While this milestone means that a lot of people have experienced a form of misfortune they never thought they would, it is the community and our valued sponsors who must be thanked for giving their support and making these life saving missions possible," he said.

"We need the community's support more than ever right now as the current difficult economic times have seen a down turn in donations recently.

"While flying 6999 missions is a major achievement and something that we are proud to have been able to provide to the region, we need ongoing support to help ensure we can continue to perform future missions."

Mr Fry said he hoped in the weeks leading up to Christmas, people would dig deep.

"With Christmas fast approaching, people's thoughts are naturally beginning to focus on the festivities that come with that time of year, however we need people to spare a thought for service's like ours whose foundations lie within the community's generosity, and to continue their support at this critical time," he said.

To give your support, visit the Service's website or by phone on 02 6627 4444 or make a donation at any of its Op Shops located in Ballina, Lismore, Casino, Grafton or Coffs Harbour.

The service, which started in Ballina on December 21, 1982, will celebrate its 30th anniversary next month.

Topics:  surf life saving

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