A petition started by a member of the Canberra Indian community has called for an investigation into the error that caused the grounding of a lifesaving helicopter and stopped the service from attending an emergency at Surf Beach earlier this month.
Westpac Lifesaver 23 was grounded by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) due to safety paperwork issues on the same day its crew received a call to help rescue Canberra man Raj Kishore.
It later emerged the operator of the aircraft, Helistar Aviation, had made an administrative error that resulted in the grounding of the helicopter just 17km away.
Mr Kishore, who was a Department of Immigration IT consultant, had rushed into the surf to try to rescue his daughter, who had been caught in a rip at Surf Beach near Batemans Bay. He was pulled from the water by surf-lifesavers but could not be revived.
His daughter, 9, was taken to Batemans Bay Hospital in a stable condition.
Sunil Kumar started the petition entitled "Justice to Raj Kishore's family" after reading the coverage by Australian Community Media on the issue and wanted to raise a voice to "fix a flaw in the system and initiate an investigation [into] what went wrong".
"It can happen with any family across Australia," he said.
"Mr Raj was a great family man and brave dad who unfortunately died saving his daughter at Surf Beach near Batemans Bay."
Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said she understood the need for answers.
"I know that any time protocols get in the way and people don't get the services they desperately need, there's always going to be questions asked and people have a right to ask those questions and find out what went wrong," she said.
"I also know everyone involved in these types of emergency services, from the emergency services crew, to the people who made the decision to ground the plane, they are not decisions they make lightly.
"But when decisions make an impact such as this where someone's life is lost then questions will be asked. It's about providing a better service for us all in the future when lessons are learned and changes are made."
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