FROG MAN: Aaron Hall winches himself down to save a patient off Park Beach.
FROG MAN: Aaron Hall winches himself down to save a patient off Park Beach.

A day in the life of a Westpac chopper winchman

A SOLID wind-swept swell pummels in on Park Beach, as a sole swimmer struggles to stay afloat.

A distant rumble quickly becomes a roar and soon the waves are parted by the downward force of a helicopter's spinning rotors.

Hovering above the swimmer's head, a winchman abseils from the chopper and takes grasp of the patient.  

For Aaron Hall it's a decisive moment.

His training kicks in and he successfully performs the mock ocean rescue.  

Fatherhood, working as an accountant and being on the casual rescue crew roster for the rescue service are all part of Aaron Hall's busy life.

Aaron, who became a father to son Ryder in March, and who works as an accountant had his rescue crew hat on this week as he underwent a water winch training exercise off Coffs Harbour. 

"I hurt my AC joint and have been off duties since Christmas and needed to undertake this currency training," Aaron said.

The training exercise involved Aaron being winched to a person in the water; securing the 'patient' and winching them safely back to the aircraft.

"I felt very safe doing the winch as the pilot and crew are highly experienced and I had been well prepared in what I had to do," Aaron said.

"I enjoy being a rescue crew member and being able to help the community.

"The helicopter service is highly regarded by the community and my employer is very supportive of the service and happy to give me time off to work with the helicopter."



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