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RACQ CareFlight Rescue making tracks after donation

RACQ CareFlight Rescue is making tracks for improved search capabilities thanks to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s (CYCA) Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trust which has helped fund two flight tracking systems.

The $34,000 contribution covers two thirds of the project’s total cost, which will see flight tracking systems installed on the Sunshine Coast and Bundaberg based helicopters by January 2014.

The additional equipment means the two helicopters can be tracked using GPS technology, which improves safety for the crew on board and provides enhanced coordination during a search.

Emergency services can monitor the area being searched by the CareFlight helicopter and direct other air, ground or sea assets into different zones.

“Last year RACQ CareFlight Rescue helicopters conducted more than 140 search and rescue missions across land and sea,” said CareFlight Chief Executive Officer, Ash van de Velde.

“The equipment will provide crews with the ability to track their search paths while allowing tasking agencies to fully oversee the operation.
An on-board satellite connection will also increase flight communications, overcoming a range of interference and reception difficulties currently encountered from radio and mobile devices.
“It’s these added benefits that will help make a challenging job a whole lot safer.
Mr Van de Velde, thanked the Club for the donation towards the state-of-the-art equipment.
“The flight tracking systems had been on our list of enhancements and the hard work of the CYCA has contributed to them becoming a reality,” he said.
CYCA SOLAS Trusts Chairman Matt Allen said the Club was happy to be supporting an organisation which shares its passion for saving lives at sea.
“We are very pleased to provide RACQ Careflight Rescue with the grant (of $34,000) for the installation of two flight tracking systems to improve their flight operations,” stated Mr Allen. 
“This equipment is vital to improving emergency rescue services in the southern and central Queensland areas,” he said.
The CYCA SOLAS Trust was established in response to the tragic events of the 1998 Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Since then it has donated more than $884,000 to like-minded organisations across Australia.