Babcock Australasia delivers new AW139 for Queensland SAR

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(PHOTO: Babcock Australia)

A new AW139 helicopter has arrived in Central Queensland, bringing enhanced capability to the RACQ Capricorn Rescue’s aeromedical and search and rescue (SAR) services, following a funding boost by the Queensland government. Babcock Australasia will operate, crew and maintain the new AW139 on behalf of Capricorn Rescue from their Rockhampton base in Central Queensland. The AW139 will provide an upgraded capability from the Bell 412EP helicopter, including improved range and speed, custom configuration of specialised on-board aeromedical equipment, and a bespoke aircraft cabin design and fit-out suitable for aeromedical and SAR operations.

Babcock Australasia’s managing director for Aviation & Critical Services, Darren Moncrieff, said Babcock has been providing aircraft, experienced aircrews, and engineers to keep the service flying and saving lives since 2013. “Capricorn Rescue trust us to deliver life-saving services and protect the community 24/7, 365 days a year, in all weather conditions,” Moncrieff said. “Our aircrews are highly trained, highly skilled, and highly professional with specialist skills to safely deliver critical services including winching, search and rescue, fast rope operations, and night vision capability. Babcock and Capricorn Rescue work as an integrated team assisting the doctors and paramedics to transfer patients and retrieve patients or people being rescued. We respond to major trauma incidents and life-threatening medical emergencies on roads, stations, mines, and gas sites.

“More than 300,000 Central Queensland residents rely on the service, and in 2020 Capricorn Rescue and Babcock crews completed 449 missions, flying a total of 647 hours,” Moncrieff added. “Our support for RACQ Capricorn Rescue is a great example of the strong relationships we’ve built and Babcock’s commitment to our clients’ service delivery and success for the long term.”

RACQ Capricorn Rescue Executive Director Mark Fewtrell said the working relationship and partnership with Babcock is rewarding not only for the service, but the broader Central Queensland community. “Babcock Australasia and its staff have for the past eight years operated alongside the RACQ Capricorn Rescue team to deliver a world class operation in the Central Queensland region. Our partnership has ensured that the service consistently achieves the highest availability rate in the state which is largely attributed to the teamwork and professional manner displayed by the crew when carrying out their duties. Babcock has also provided sponsorship for our community events which demonstrates their commitment to give back to our community funded organisation,” Fewtrell said.

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