Fly Back Facts | 2009

In 2009, we saw the launch and implementation of a new logo and marked an important milestone in our history. The inaugural RescUresponse Day held at Paradise Lagoons in March provided an opportunity to launch the new brand in spectacular style. Dave Benson, the World Flag Flying Record Holder, donated his time and enthusiasm to skydive into the arena and present the new logo on a white flag to supporters below. The new look was distinctive and easily recognisable and was greeted with enthusiasm by the local community, rallying fresh support from the region.

With the new logo came a rebrand of the CapRescue workplace giving scheme. Target 10,000 was launched and aimed to encourage 10,000 employees within the region to donate $2 per week out of their pay towards the service. The faces of those saved by the service, as well as their stories, helped promote the importance of supporting CapRescue, and included the ‘esky survivors’ of 2008, Ryan Hiscox, Tony Minns and Robert Zoutenbier.

“They saved our lives and prevented a terrible tragedy for our families and friends. Now they need our help,” Robert said.

“If you can spare $2 a week to help save lives, please help.

“It’s pretty cheap insurance to ensure the service is available to save the life of someone you know and love.”

Workplace giving has proved to be a successful initiative over the years, recruiting over 100 businesses and raising over $2.2 million for CapRescue.

Also in March, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) looked to the CapRescue crew to both conduct a search and rescue mission at sea and set up a command centre at our Canoona Road hangar following reports of a missing trawler. With 100 people from various agencies working on the mission, it proved a logistical nightmare for all involved. Coordinating the media, setting up inter-agency communications, providing rest facilities and catering for the rescue teams were some of the challenges overcome by the CapRescue crew, staff, and volunteers. The mission: searching for three fishermen lost at sea during the category five cyclone Hamish. The sole survivor was rescued after he managed to activate an EPIRB found floating in the debris as he drifted miles from his capsized trawler. The EPIRB had, in fact, been lost from another vessel a month prior to the incident. Matt Cook, the senior base crewman who was winched to the trawler wreckage, stated that it was “… the scariest moment of my career when I entered the unstable vessel balancing on its side, on the reef”. Matt carefully crawled through the wreck, gaining valuable footage of the internal damage as well as underwater footage that helped authorities assess the situation. Just one of 147 tasks in 2009, this mission shows the lengths our crew will go to in their pursuit of keeping the community of Central Queensland safe. The crew went on to complete 241 hours in the air during 2009.

Image: 2009
The new CapRescue logo was unveiled to the community at Paradise Lagoons.