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News > Old Boy News > Tropic Chopper Tour

Tropic Chopper Tour

17 Jul 2021
Old Boy News
Old Boy Andrew McNeilly (1987) is with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS).
Old Boy Andrew McNeilly (1987) is with the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS).


Class of 1987

Old Boy Andrew McNeilly (1987) has had a long and extensive history in both aviation and surf lifesaving. His early aviation career saw him based in East Timor as aircrew (January 2007 to May 2009) with Hevilift where he provided support to the Australian Army and Federal Police during Operation Astute in East Timor and RAMSI in the Solomons. During a second stint in the region (May 2011 to June 2014) in Papua New Guinea (PNG) as Search and Rescue Aircrew, Andrew was crewing the company aircraft on all aero-medical and search and rescue tasking in support of the Exxon\Mobil LNG project, as well as training of paramedics and PNG national loadmasters in the company's procedures for down the wire operations.

After many years in a volunteer position as Search and Rescue Aircrew in the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service (WLRHS), Andrew is now full time employed as the Chief Crewperson and Training Officer. With his father Mal McNeilly MBE, who helped Surf Life Saving Queensland establish the WLRHS, Andrew is continuing a proud family tradition. His role involves checking, training and re-certification of crew in all disciplines, and performing duties as a senior aircrewman on search and rescue taskings.

In early June, Andrew was part of the WLRHS epic five-day regional Tropic Chopper Tour which spanned 1,600 kilometres and visited six Queensland regional locations from Bundaberg to Port Douglas. The tour provided a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the critical role the WLRHS plays in protecting swimmers on Queensland beaches by getting a close up look at the new multi-million-dollar hi-tech chopper and meeting the crew in person.

Keep up the great work Andrew!

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