Southern Lakes Helicopters have a long history, and nationally recognised commitment to Search and Rescue services in New Zealand. Between them, our staff have a comprehensive range of SAR and Medivac skills gained within New Zealand and offshore. These include those required for specialised operations involving night vision technology, scoop nets, locator beacon tracking, long line offshore rescues, winch and Sub-Antarctic rescues.
Sir Richard Hayes, CEO and chief pilot, has been operating helicopters for SAR and EMS since 1975. He has been named in the New Zealand Honours list, been made a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), and received a Merit Award by the New Zealand Police for his extensive work in Search and Rescue.
Lloyd Matheson, Operations Manager, has more than 25 years experience of providing SAR services in Fiordland. Lloyd has been awarded the QSM (Queen's Service Medal) for his contribution to the community through Search and Rescue.
Southern Lakes Helicopters provide medical evacuation services throughout the Fiordland, Southland and Stewart Island regions. We are also well equipped for medivacs and rescues from the Southern Ocean. We are a certified Air Rescue and Air Ambulance operator and are on call 24/7. Given the remoteness of parts of these regions and the distance from emergency medical services, the service we provide is often critical. Being equipped and acredited to carry out missions using night vision goggles means we are able to respond to emergency situations both day and night.