Bondi Rescue is an Australian factual television programme which is broadcast on Channel Ten. The programme, which has aired since 2006, follows the daily lives and routines of the Waverley Council professional lifeguards who patrol Bondi Beach.
Bondi Rescue was first broadcast in 2006. A spin-off, set in Bali, Indonesia, also briefly screened in 2008. Bondi Rescue is also broadcast internationally throughout 100 countries.
The show was created and produced by part-time lifeguard Ben Davies. It is narrated by Osher Günsberg.
The Bondi lifeguards perform around five thousand rescues over the summer period. They also deal with other incidents including lost children, shark scares, bluebottle stings, injuries, sexual deviants, drunk beach goers and thieves on the beach. Every once in a while, celebrities also make appearances on their shores. These have included actors/comedians David Hasselhoff and Kelly Slater (stars of the US lifeguards fiction show Baywatch), Hugh Grant, Zac Efron, Rowan Atkinson, Paris Hilton, Russell Crowe, entrepreneur Richard Branson, musician Snoop Dogg, Steve Irwin and daughter Bindi and the Indian Cricket Team. Bondi veterinarian Chris Brown repeatedly appeared on Bondi Beach, meeting lifeguards, in his own show Bondi Vet.
Bondi also has its Annual Lifeguard Ironman Challenge, which tests the skills of each lifeguard with a one-kilometre run from Bondi to local beach Tamarama, then a one-kilometre swim to nearby Bronte Beach, followed by a two-kilometre board-paddle back to Bondi. The race is handicapped: the more accomplished swimmers and board-paddlers set off from Bondi later (up to twelve minutes, depending on how many competitors there are).
Footage for the show is shot during the preceding Australian summer (usually between November and February), with certain episodes reflecting incidents that have occurred during Christmas Day, New Year's Day and Australia Day. Noteworthy incidents at nearby Tamarama and Bronte Beaches, which the lifeguards are also responsible for, are occasionally shown. Later seasons also featured footage of lifeguard trials and training exercises from the middle of the year. The training in the middle of the year is a trial to test the fitness, strength and ability of the lifeguards. It consists of an 800-metre swim in under thirteen-and-a-half minutes in a swimming pool, then a 600-metre swim surf and two 600-metre runs on the sand at Bondi which should be completed in under 25 minutes. It is also a test for trainee lifeguards to show they are able and committed to the role of a lifeguard. If the competitors do not complete the tasks in the time limit, they are eliminated and do not advance to the next test.
Many rescue boards and jet skis have a camera attached for close-up footage. When deemed safe to do so, the cameraman accompanies the lifeguards out to sea and has even had to assist with rescue operations on a number of occasions.
The production company pays Waverley Council $139,000 per year and a percentage of profits to film the program, and the Council also holds "review rights" to ensure content is acceptable to their practices.
Current lifeguards at Bondi beachAaron "Azza"/"Azza B" BuchanAaron "Azza"/"Azza G" GrahamAdriel "Bacon" YoungAndrew "Reidy" ReidAnthony "Harries" CarrollAnthony "Glick" GlickBen "Benny" DaviesBen "Quiggers" QuigleyBobby "Yak" Yaldwyn (also paramedic)Bruce "Hoppo" Hopkins (Head-Lifeguard)Chris "Chappo/Chips" ChapmanChris EmeryCorey OliverDanny McKellDaniel "Beardy" McLaughlinDean "Deano" GladstoneGreg "Bisho" Bishop (also firefighter)Harrison "Lionel Hutz" ReidJake NolanJackson DoolanJesse "Kid" PolockJethro "Jeff" JamesJoel BevilacquaJuliana Bahr-ThomsonKailan "KC" CollinsKris "Yatesy" YatesLiam "Itchy" TaylorLuke "Louie" DanielsMario MarfellaMatt "Matty" DeeMax "Maxy" AyshfordMichael "Mouse"/"Black Cloud" JenkinsonNicola AthertonQuinn "Quinno" Darragh (part-time- also paramedic)Rod "Kerrbox"/"Box" Kerr (former surf champion)Ryan "Whippet" Clark (former child soap actor)Ryan YerburyTerry "Tezz" McDermottTom "Egg/Tommy" Bunting (also chiropractor)Tommy FraserTrent "Singlets" FalsonTrent "Maxi" Maxwell (part-time- also firefighter)Troy "Gonzo" QuinlanWally EggletonAdrian "Taco" KovacicAndrew "Pine" O'SullivanBeau DayBen SutherlandBlake McKeownBrad "Mal" MalyonBrooke Cassell (female)Chris "Thaney" ThaneCorey AdamsDerek RecioDes "The Chairman" BurkeDunstan "Dunno" FossHarry "H"/"H-man" Nightingale (team nestor) (Retired in 2015)John "Johnny" RobsonKobi GrahamKyle Pao (Exchange Lifeguard from Hawaii)Matthew "Burkey" BurkeNathan "Anny" AnsonSean CarrollScotty ThomsonTemika Wright (Exchange Trainee)Yamaha Rhino 700, ATVYamaha WaveRunner FX High Output, PWCKracka and Bennet surf rescue board
A Nine-part spin-off series, entitled Bondi Rescue: Bali and set in Bali, Indonesia, premiered on Ten on 10 September 2008. The spin-off followed two monthly delegations of the Bondi lifeguards (including Dean 'Deano' Gladstone, Anthony 'Harries' Carroll, Chris 'Chappo/Chips' Chapman, Ryan 'Whippet' Clark, Tom 'Egg' Bunting, Matt 'Matty' Dee, Aaron 'Azza' and Kobi Graham and mission chief Terry 'Tezz' McDermott) as they were assigned to a two-month stint at Kuta Beach, dealing with the more humid climate, a much larger beach, an exceptionally strong surf and the absence of the rescue equipment they had back home (even in ambulances), making it the world's most deadly guarded beach: twelve fatalities in an average year. They join the hundred strong local life guards, supervised by popular singer Marcello Arayafaya, in an official international exchange program.
The spin-off failed to score ratings, and was pulled after four episodes. However the whole series was aired and repeated overseas, notably in Flanders.
Bondi Rescue has proven to be very successful for Ten, averaging 1.31 million viewers during its third season. It won the Logie Awards Most Popular Factual Program in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and also a nomination for the Most Outstanding Factual Series at the 2010 and 2011 ceremonies. Its success also led to similar series such as the Seven Network's Surf Patrol and Nine's Deadly Surf being commissioned.
A game based on the show was developed for iPhone and iPad. In the game, the player is a lifeguard who must keep the swimmers between the flags and protect them from hazards.