If you’ve ever been to Sydney, you’ve probably been to Bondi Beach. It’s one of the best-known beaches in Australia and a favourite destination for people worldwide. One of the things that Bondi is best known for is, of course, its lifeguards.
Bondi Beach lifeguards are pretty impressive in their own right. In fact, people come from all over just to catch a glimpse of the lifesaving professionals on the job. What makes these lifeguards so fascinating, and why is there a television program devoted to their daily lives?
Here are some fun facts about the amazing Bondi Beach lifeguards that keep Bondi Beach safe for visitors. Look out for these real-life heroes when you visit Bondi Beach on your next visit to Sydney.
Fun Fact #1: There’s a Television Programme About Them
Waverley Council’s famous lifeguards are featured in their own TV show. Bondi Rescue has been on the air since 2006 and has followed the daily lives of the heroic lifeguards who guard Bondi Beach.
The show has been running for 16 seasons and is popular with people around the globe. Heaps of celebrities have even appeared on the show throughout the years, including one of television’s most famous fictional lifeguards, David Hasselhof. Other celebrities that have appeared on the programme include Zac Efron, Rowan Atkinson, Hugh Grant, and Russell Crowe.
The show even spawned a brief spinoff called Rescue Bali. It focused on several Bondi lifeguards and their brief delegation to the highly dangerous Kuta Beach in Bali.
Fun Fact #2: Bondi Lifeguards Are Really Fit
Understandably, you’d have to be fit to be a lifeguard. After all, your job is to save people from drowning in the powerful surf along Bondi Beach. But Bondi lifeguards undergo rigorous training to ensure that they are physically fit enough to handle those monster waves and powerful undercurrents.
Trainee lifeguards take a test that includes swimming 800 metres in a pool that must be completed in under thirteen and a half minutes. Then they have to swim 600 metres in the beach’s surf, followed by two 600-metre runs along the sand and another 600-metre board paddle. They finish off by completing a number of rescues within a time limit of 25 minutes.
Fun Fact #3: There Are A LOT of Bondi Lifeguards
Because Bondi Beach is such a popular destination, and because it’s such a large beach, the number of lifeguards required to keep everyone safe is fairly high. There are between 30 and 40 full-time lifeguards on staff at Bondi at any given time, with six lifeguards on duty at all times.
The lifeguards can be spotted by their blue uniforms and can be seen working every day of the year, including Christmas, which can be a hectic day for the lifesavers. If you fancy your chances at becoming one of Bondi’s finest, you can always contact Waverley Council to apply for the position, but you’d better be really good at swimming and saving lives, since Bondi Beach can accommodate up to 50,000 visitors at a time.
Fun Fact #4: Bondi Lifeguards Complete a Lot of Rescues
It may seem obvious, but Bondi lifeguards really are top-notch lifesavers. According to the Waverley council, on busy days, Bondi lifeguards save as many as 100 lives per day.
The busiest season for the lifeguards is the summer when it’s estimated that they can complete over 5000 rescues per day. These rescues aren’t all potential drownings. Oftentimes, minor injuries, lost children, or other non-life threatening situations end up being the cause.
Multiple-person rescues are more common than you’d think, too. With thousands of visitors from all over the world flocking to Bondi Beach every day, it’s easy to see why the Bondi lifeguards stay so busy.
Fun Fact #5: The Youngest Bondi Lifeguard was 16 Years Old
Trent Maxwell began lifeguarding at a very young age, becoming a Bondi lifeguard at 16. He was in 12 seasons of ‘Bondi Rescue’ and also became a firefighter in 2016. Maxwell’s love of safety even led to him writing a series of children’s books about lifeguards.
While most lifeguards at Bondi don’t start quite that young, it’s clear that all of the lifesavers have one thing in common. They are all committed to making Bondi Beach a safer, more inviting place for visitors to enjoy.
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