THEY may be quiet achievers, but the men and women of two life-saving organisations work tirelessly to keep the community safe.
Together, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service and the Hunter's 13 surf lifesaving clubs guard our coast lines, each day protecting the lives of beach-goers across the region.
The services receive some government funding, and also rely on local generosity in the form of volunteers and donations to cover the shortfall.
Residents and businesses are again being asked to help support these two vital organisations.
At one of the more unique events on the city's fund-raising calendar - Ducks 4 Dollars - a sea of little red and yellow rubber ducks will colour Newcastle Harbour on Australia Day, Janu-ary 26.
Adopted ducks are released in the harbour, where they bob and float with the tide across a 200-metre course.
A yellow duck can be adopted for $5, with $1500 in cash prizes up for grabs.
Red corporate ducks are $100 each and the prize includes Newcastle Jets tickets, a Newcastle Jockey Club racing package, and a Moonshadow Cruise and simulator experience at the Broadmeadow rescue helicopter base.
Money raised from the annual event goes toward training and equipment for the helicopter service and surf lifesaving clubs.
It will fund new helicopter blades for the helicopter service this year.
Westpac Helicopter Service crewman of 23 years Peter Martine, who is also a Cooks Hill Surf Life Saving Association life member, said Ducks 4 Dollars was one of the service's most valued partnerships.
"In 1975 the surf lifesavers of this region were instrumental in giving the Hunter a rescue helicopter to help with summer-time surf patrols," Mr Martine said.
"Almost 40 years on we still work very closely with surf lifesaving over the summer months.
"Ducks 4 Dollars is a terrific way for the two organisations to work together to raise funds that ensure we can be there for our community when needed, free of charge."
■ You can adopt a duck at local surf lifesaving clubs, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service base at Broadmeadow, Westpac branches, online at rescuehelicopter.com.au, or on the day.