2019 – Life-saving rescues – Cyclone Idai Posted March 21, 2019 by Adrian Nance


In 2019, life-saving was a big part of our early response to Cyclone Idai. 1.8 million people were affected. And the air group rescued over 400 people.

You will see from our feature, that life-saving is one of the two earliest actions after a disaster has struck. The other is surveys to find people and their needs. Often helicopters do both at the same time – so called search and rescue.

2019 life-saving, well done Rescue South Africa

Rescues in 2019 - Rescue South Africa
Rescue South Africa, ready to go out again!

In 2019, our rescues after Cyclone IDAI were in partnership with Rescue South Africa. They are an amazing group of paramedics and other professionals. They hand off a long line under a helicopter. So they can clip people on and lift them to safety. You can see the enthusiasm in their eyes.

Mercy Air and MAF – the team works!

It doesn’t work without a helicopter! well done Mercy Air!

Here is a Safari Air helicopter with two of these agile rescuers.

But the Mercy Air Squirrel attracted very positive comments too! The link between pilot and rescuer is really important.

So what did Wings add?

Well, Wings and you helped fund 46 hours of flying. The flying at the beginning. This early period is when the life-saving happens. And we helped fund it. You and us.

Thank you so much. Over 400 people are alive because of your support!

Don’t forget to donate now, while you think of it. Then we can do it again!

This is what the CEO of Rescue South Africa said of our efforts with Mercy Air:

Having our team work with you was a privilege – and the opportunity you gave Connor and Travis to work with you and learn from your vast experience was highly appreciated. They both mentioned what a steep learning curve this mission provided them, and we cannot thank you enough for this.

The access you provided to the helicopter, as well as the highly skilled crew, allowed our team to make some spectacular rescues.

You helped do that! well done!


The word vital is overused. It means absolutely essential, or about living. Life-saving is vital. It really is!

And you can help us. You can donate to this vital work today. Thank you!