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CYCA SOLAS Trusts donate to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters

by Jennifer Crook on 24 Sep 2012
CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen presents the donation cheque to Stephen Lahey CEO Westpac Rescue Life Saver Helicopters with some of the crew. Westpac Life Saver
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trust has made a donation to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopters of $32,240 to fund a new Search and Rescue Direction Finder (RT-600) for Sydney’s Lifesaver 1 Helicopter.

The current Direction Finder system required urgent upgrading because the model was no longer serviceable nor capable of detecting some of the newer distress beacon frequencies.

The money donated by CYCA SOLAS Trusts was used to purchase the new SAR Direction Finder (RT-600). An advanced multi-band radio direction finding system for airborne applications; capable of capturing and indicating direction to any source of an emergency signal on VHF, UHF, all 19 406 MHz COSPAS-SARSAT frequencies and all 88 maritime channels.

The sophisticated software provides significantly improved tracking capability and reduces search time without external support. The RT-600 system is also Night Vision Goggle compatible, an essential requirement for the Westpac Life Saver crew on standby to assist the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

This is the first donation made to the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter (Southern Region), with the previous two donations made to the Hunter region operations.

Matt Allen, Chairman of the CYCA SOLAS Trusts made the donation to CEO Stephen Leahy at the La Perouse base. 'We are pleased that the CYCA SOLAS Trusts can continue to support the vital operations of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and can continue to deliver this important service to the community.'

'The CYCA SOLAS Trusts continues to actively contribute to key emergency medical services and search & rescue organizations. Due to the nature of ocean racing and other outdoor recreational activities, emergency medical services are vital in saving lives,' Allen said.

The CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trusts (SOLAS) was set up as a charitable trust in 1999 as a result of the tragic events of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. The CYCA SOLAS Trusts objectives are to:
• Provide assistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races
• Make donations and provide support to search and rescue organisations
• Foster and fund research and training to improve safety and rescue procedures and equipment used in ocean races.

Since they were established in 1998 following the loss of life in the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race that year, the Trusts have donated more than $727,000 to organisations in New South Wales, Tasmania, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT, and the Trusts continues to explore new organisations to support.

The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia will also host the annual CYCA SOLAS Trusts fundraising dinner on Thursday 18 October 2012 with guest speaker Victor Kovalenko, Head Coach of the Australian Sailing team. Tickets are $125 per head and can be purchased online today. This event is one of the major ways that the CYCA SOLAS Trusts raises the vital funds so that it can continue to make donations.

'I would like to encourage all yacht owners and ocean racers to attend this event. You will be thoroughly entertained by our guest speaker and you will be supporting the SOLAS Trusts and those organisations that could be of assistance should you need to call on them in a race or life emergency situation,' Chairman Allen added.

The Westpac Life Saver Helicopter thanks the CYCA Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Safety of Life at Sea Trust for their generous support.
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