WESTPAC Lifesaver Helicopter CEO Stephen Leahy says his organisation is not blaming anyone for failing to notify the service about Tuesday’s fatal skydiving accident at Moruya.
Media reports suggested that the Moruya base of the service, which is close to where the tragedy occurred, was outraged at being overlooked when it happened, but Mr Leahy said it was more a matter of frustration than outrage.
“We want to really make it clear that no one has done anything wrong,” he said.
Mr Leahy said the emergency tasking system, which wasn’t able to notify the service that a dire emergency was unfolding so close to their base, was the issue.
“We were never notified about what happened and we only found out later from a police press release. Had we been made aware we would have been able to assist until other emergency services arrived.”
Mr Leahy said that everyone involved “did everything right”.
“The skydiving club called triple 0 immediately and the ambulance arrived quickly,” he said.
The Westpac Helicopter base, which is positioned strategically for its proximity to the airport, the beaches, the river and holiday parks, had a duty crew of three on station at the time.
Mr Leahy believes the Westpac crewmen would not have been able to help the man.
“From everything I have heard, the man was not in a position to be saved,” he said.
The Westpac service is represented on the Eurobodalla Emergency Management Comm-ittee, and at the committee’s next meeting in Eurobodalla Shire Council chambers in early February, its representatives will be seeking to ensure that they will be able to respond to such a situation in future.
“We will seek a decision to allow us to provide better support in such an emergency,” Mr Leahy said.