Dave Lassam - A second helicopter crash

Running time
1 min 45 sec
Date made
Place made

Department of Veterans' Affairs


When we had the second helicopter crash,12 months later, on board the Kanimbla, I think there were only 11 of us who were on there for the first one, so we copped a double dose in a 12-month period and we tended to group together, funnily enough, because it had happened before. And we couldn't believe that it happened again that quickly.

But again, there's a heap of support for people now, a lot more than they used to be. Back in the, like in the 1980s, bits and bobs happened, mental who? Mental health was never mentioned. Harden up. Drink a cup of concrete, get on with it. And you were sort of, that was why we now have so many guys like Vietnam vets or anybody else, the guys who were on the Melbourne when they cleaned up the Voyager and so forth, you still get this PTSD because we weren't looked after.

Defence was very slow, and I'll say this about them, they were very slow in getting their act together. But now, my understanding is that it is a lot better and they're getting on to things a bit quicker, there's a lot more understanding that goes with it. You give people time to grieve, you just got to get your timing right to bring people in to do it.

The Blackhawk crash, they buggered that up, they were too quick. They were there within 24 hours and we were still coming to terms with it and you've got people asking, "Are you alright? Are you alright?" Just pissed everyone off. But nowadays, it's my understanding, there's a lot more, I use the word advertising for it, there's a lot more help out there.


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