For Perth boy George Harley, swimming was - and is - everything.

Back in 2012 the talented youngster at just 13 had already done many long laps of the pool working hard towards a career in swimming.

However when Harley had a serious off-road crash on at a friend's property near Lancelin, his dreams of swimming gold came crashing down.

The quad bike he was riding rolled, trapping him underneath. As he waited for help, the frightened teenager was simply clinging to hope that he would at least survive and be able to walk, let alone swim, again.

“Just as I was about to let go and give up, the RAC Rescue helicopter crew arrived," says Harley.

“If they hadn’t arrived when they did, I don’t really like to think about what could have happened.”

With multiple fractures, he looked likely to lose his leg. Surgeons managed to save it but his prospects of even walking properly again were not good.

For many of the following months Harley was in a wheelchair and undergoing intensive rehabilitation.

Determined to make the most of the second chance at life he’d been given, Harley pushed even harder and after a remarkable recovery got himself back to the pool.

Six years later Harley will be on the starting blocks representing Australia this year in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.   

“I’m back in the water doing what I always wanted to do," he says.

"I’m swimming again and I’m getting closer to achieving the goals I’d set before the crash.

“The RAC Rescue helicopter gave me my life back.”

Funded by the State Government, the RAC Rescue helicopters are managed by the Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) and sponsored by RAC. 

Your RAC membership helps us sponsor the RAC Rescue helicopters, which fly life-saving missions every hour of every day.

As a membership organisation we don’t have shareholders, which means we can reinvest our profits for the better of our members and the WA community.

In return, we give back to you with savings on fuel, shopping and more. And your membership helps us sponsor the RAC Rescue helicopters.

That’s the power of membership.

How we’re giving back