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Helicopter crew swap flight suits for black tie at fundraising ball

The Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service Queensland crew will suit up in a different kind of attire when they make a special appearance at the inaugural charity Heli Ball on Saturday, 31 October.

The fundraising ball has been organised by Surf Life Saving Queensland (SLSQ) to raise much-needed funds to contribute to the lifesaving service which, last year, performed 200 preventative actions during 403 surf patrols, saving the lives of 15 people and supporting some 25 other rescues.

Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service chief pilot Paul Gibson said it was a great opportunity for the local community to support the service, which has been operating across Queensland since 1976.

“We are one of the oldest community-based helicopter rescue services in the world, providing coastal surveillance and search and rescue services full-time, 365 days a year,” Mr Gibson said.

“Our highly-trained team is made up of skilled men and women, including pilots, professional air and land support staff and volunteer members, and we are here for one reason – to save lives.”

With Lifesaver 45 based at Carrara on the Gold Coast and Lifesaver 46 at Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast, the service works closely with Emergency Management Queensland, the Queensland Police Service, and the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to provide search and rescue services.

“We are tremendously proud of our successes over the best part of past four decades, and we invite all of Queensland to come along, celebrate and support us by purchasing a ticket,” Mr Gibson said.

Single seat tickets and full tables are available to reserve online at lifesaving.com.au/heliball.

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