Model castle aids rescue helicopter

16:00, Dec 12 2012
Westpac rescue helicopter
CASTLE CHARACTERS: Westpac rescue helicopter crew, L-R: Advanced paramedic Russell ‘Rusty’ Clark, doctor Sam Bendall, crewman Dean Harvey and chief pilot Dave Walley.

A castle is an unusual early Christmas present for the Westpac rescue helicopter team.

It's a model, done by Hibiscus Coast Village resident Bob MacIndoe to help fund some of the chopper's work in this area.

The beautifully crafted castle will be auctioned on Trade Me.

"I've seen and read about what those guys get up to and I feel that they're well worth investing a bit of time towards," Mr MacIndoe says.

"Also my daughter and her family are often out on the water and you just never know when you might need the Westpac rescue helicopter."

When he talks about a "bit of time", try 270 hours.


Mr MacIndoe, who is a member of the Village Residents Club, has lovingly invested all of this time towards creating the castle for the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust to help with funding during the busy summer period.

His kind donation is welcomed by trust marketing manager John Hooper, also a Hibiscus Coast resident.

December 1, the first official day of summer, could be a portent of summer for the rescue helicopters, he says.

Both choppers flew over the Whangaparaoa Peninsula that day on their way to a major crash north of Wellsford.

"Tis the season for it I'm afraid. The crews are already flat out and what happened on the first day of summer was fairly typical with eight patients flown on that day alone.

"The crews transported three, one of them a young child in a very serious condition, to the emergency specialist care they desperately needed," Mr Hooper says.

"This mission was one of dozens crews have been asked to perform from the Hibiscus Coast, Rodney and Kaipara districts during 2012.

"As we all know, each and every rescue requires support from our community to allow the crews to continue to operate 24/7."

Mr Hooper says there are many people to thank for helping the helicopter crews through "what will undoubtedly be a record-breaker in terms of rescues".

"But you've got to admire the effort that Bob's put into his masterpiece.

"So make a bid for your son or grandson, not to mention the rescue helicopter. They will love you for it."

Rodney Times