I grew up in water. If I wasn’t at the beach I would be swimming, training or in the backyard pool. As I got older it progressed to surfing and body surfing. When swimming in the surf life saving we used to race round the buoys and get a wave back to shore and run up the beach. I wanted to work near the ocean and Lifeguarding seemed like a natural progression of what I love to do. I’m in the ocean almost every day.
My family inspired me! My sister was an amazing swimmer who was unlucky not to go to the olympics in my opinion, and dad was an ocean lover. We grew up having bodysurfing competitions to see who could hold a wave all the way to shore. When I finished school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. All I knew I was wanted to be near or around the water.
I think it was 2004 or 2005 and it was a busy day at Bondi with 25,000 on the beach it was steamy hot, but we knew there was a storm coming ( great news for the Lifeguards if you want a quiet afternoon) the storm cleared the beach. It's amazing when it clears a crowd like that. I remember thinking how strange it was that other people don’t notice the storm coming.
About 60 meters away from the tower an Irish doctor by the name of Colin O’Biran got struck and "killed" by a bolt of lightening. I went out in to the electrical storm with some other lifeguards and I picked up Colin's lifeless body together we chucked him on the back of our ATV and took him under the lifeguard tower out of the storm where we bought him back to life.
His 2 surfing companions where both doctors also and I remember the yelling match we had with them as we tried to help, they quickly realized we knew what we were doing and let us do our thing. I don’t remember if the defib shocked him but after 25 minutes of CPR he left with a pulse, but not conscious. 6 months later he returned to the tower as he was heading back to Ireland, he was in a wheel chair but had just learned to walk again.
Bondi beach is the busiest stretch of sand in Australia its the second most visited tourist location behind the opera house at about 2 million visitor per year. It's very close to the CBD and the Opera House and Harbor Bridge and is now increasing visited by the rich and famous. It is a very naturally beautifully spot and has lots of color and characters from so many different strains of locals.
Bali is a favourite for many Australians its close the famous waves like Uluwatu and its great value. In 2008 we filmed Bondi Rescue Bali where we lived in Bali and trained with the locals, teaching them some of our skills and learning some of theres. After that I always wanted to live in Bali for a year or so. The dream came true after the birth of my son in 2014 we packed the house and moved overseas for 7 months where I got some amazing waves. some great ones with my daughter
Being in the ocean is my type of meditation, particularly when the waves are big and being on a Slyde Handboard makes that magical feeling of riding a wave even better.
I do get the pleasure of taking people in the ocean and seeing them get a wave for the first time its so awesome. I love being in the water with happy positive people it makes it that much better. I can’t really think to choose any celebs, but people that haven’t experienced the magic of the ocean before then they get a guided tour always love it.
Truth is stranger then fiction. Bondi Rescueis unpredictable, that's what amazes me you can never guess what will happen.
Come visit you guys will love it!