HELISPIRIT EVACUATES DALY RIVER RESIDENTS
On 26th December the community of Daly River (Nauiyu) in the NT was flooded, with houses under water and residents taking refuge on rooftops. A Monsoonal low pressure system delivered high rainfall over the catchment areas of the Daly River, resulting in a major 14.65m flood. A state of emergency was declared by the NT police.
HeliSpirit was tasked to send 4 helicopters to help the evacuation of the approximately 500 residents. A total of 20 helicopters from the NT and WA (HeliSpirit) were used in the evacuation.
The 2 Bell LongRanger and 2 Bell JetRanger helicopters, piloted by Howard James, Paul Cripps, Debs Carling and Sam Coppock, departed Kununurra at 4.30am on 27th December, flying directly to the flooded area.
The NT Emergency Services led a well coordinated operation with boats rescuing people and taking them to a marshalling area at 5 mile where they were transferred to vehicles (troop carriers), which drove them a short distance to the helicopter landing area. They were then flown 30 minutes to Batchelor and bussed to Darwin.
The 4 HeliSpirit helicopters evacuated around 100 people over the course of the day.
HeliSpirit is skilled in providing emergency services and has assisted in numerous life saving situations over the years. The 2011 Warmun flood was a similar situation to the recent Daly River flood. In that instance Warmun residents were relocated to Kununurra.