Another ambassador for the rescue chopper
Former Trans-Atlantic rowing champion and Olympian Rob Hamill is the latest ambassador for the Northland Rescue Helicopter service.
Mr Hamill put his hand up to help raise awareness of the need for ongoing public donations to keep the helicopters flying after spending many weeks in Northland preparing his catamaran for a family sailing adventure to the Pacific Islands and beyond.
He knew only too well how life could change in a split second, having lost three of his siblings over the last 30 years. Rowing more than 4000km across the Atlantic Ocean in 1997 had made him acutely aware of how vulnerable people could be without help at hand.
“I am very privileged to be supporting the Northland Rescue Helicopter service, because the work they do is amazing,” he said.
“What is particularly impressive is how they work together with St John, the Northland DHB, the emergency services throughout Northland and so many amazing volunteers. It has been said by many people before, but you just never know when you might need the service, and I am looking forward to taking part in some of the activities during the 2018 fundraising appeal.”
General manager Vanessa Furze said the service was thrilled to have Mr Hamill on board.
“We are so well represented by our ambassadors, and they really are very important to helping raise the awareness of our need to raise funds to meet operational shortfalls over the busy summer months,” she said. “Those public donations are just as crucial as the sponsorship we receive from Northpower ($100,000 annually) and Top Energy ($50,000 annually), plus all our other sponsors, supporters, and of course the generous funding and ongoing support we receive from Northland Regional Council.”
The service had flown more than 20,000 missions since 1988, and was instrumental in saving thousands of lives. The fleet continued to clock up dozens of flights every month.
In 2011 the service completed 581 jobs, rising to 901 last year. The tally so far this year is already well over 718.
Rob Hamill has a new role in Northland.