Surf Life Saving Queensland’s (SLSQ) Westpac Helicopter has proved a blessing to many in its 41-year history, having directly saved the lives of more than 850 beachgoers from often treacherous and perilous situations.
Now, following a successful start to the school holiday period, the service’s helicopter has received an official blessing of its own from Buddhist Monks living at the Wat Sangharatanaram Temple (Gold Coast Thai Temple).
In addition to wishing luck and prosperity on the service’s helicopter and crew, the process also provided Surf Life Saving Queensland with a vital opportunity to build closer relationships with Thai communities on the Gold Coast and educate them about how to stay safe on the beach.
It comes after international tourists, travellers, and migrants were again identified by SLSQ as a particularly high-risk group, with 30 foreign nationals having drowned on Queensland beaches in the past 10 years. This season all lifesaving patrols have been equipped with Surf Speak booklets, featuring multilingual safety information translated into 15 different languages, including Thai.