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Series / Bondi Rescue

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Bondi Rescue is an Australian factual television programme which is broadcast on Network 10. The programme, which has aired since 2006, follows the daily lives and routines of the Waverley Council professional lifeguards who patrol Bondi Beach, as well as nearby Bronte and Tamarama beaches (all just east of Sydney, Australia).

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.

Executive producers are Michael Cordell and Nick Murray of Cordell Jigsaw Productions.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abandon Ship: One situation ends with a couple being rescued from their damaged boat by Azza and Nicola with the jet-ski.
  • Accent Interest: Harrison's Kiwi accent gets lots of ribbing from the Aussies.
  • Acquainted with Emergency Services: The lifeguards are constantly calling the EMT's for medical help for the visiting beachgoers (and sometimes for themselves). Some of the EMT's have also trained the lifeguards in basic first aid, so of course they're on a first name basis.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Beachgoers suffer from this often.
  • Anger Born of Worry: The lifeguards express this when people don't listen to their safety instructions - and then have to be rescued minutes later. Often occurs in tandem with Enraged by Idiocy.
  • Anyone Can Die: The message the lifeguards keep trying to drum into people's heads regarding the dangers of rip tides and heavy surf. Sadly it has happened a few times.
  • The Atoner: Jesse. He is a past member of the Bra Boys, a gang centred on surf culture, founded and based in Maroubra, an eastern suburb of Sydney, New South Wales in the 1990s. In 2014 together Jesse and Maxi did a jet-ski tour to raise awareness of mental health and suicide prevention. Their epic 3000-kilometre journey, known as The Ride: East Coast, was filmed as part of a documentary which aired on channel One.
  • Badass Normal: The Bondi Lifeguards.
  • Band of Brothers: The mostly male team of lifeguards are close friends who work an often-dangerous job together.
  • Beach Series
  • The Big Race: The Annual Lifeguard Iron Man Challenge.
  • Blatant Lies: How practical jokes are often set up. Best example: Kerrbox and the fake Japanese energy drink commercial.
  • Busman's Holiday: Some of the lifeguards are Bondi locals, and thus can be seen surfing and swimming (and helping with rescues) on their days off. Some bring their families.
  • By the Hair: How Kerrbox rescues one young man.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: And how! See also Hot Men at Work.
  • Celebrity Is Overrated: The lifeguards bring this up now and again.
  • Celebrity Resemblance: When David Hasselhoff shows up at Bondi Beach, he tells Harries that he's a "younger Hoff". Harries is thrilled. It seems that invokedAustralian lifeguards love David Hasselhoff, too.
    • Adriel Young is quickly nicknamed Bacon, due to his resemblance to Kevin Bacon.
    • Harrison Reid picks up the nickname Lionel because his fellow lifeguards think he looks like Lionel Hutz from The Simpsons.
  • The Chikan: Crowded public beach version. And, yes, the lifeguards do have to deal with such perps occasionally. It helps that they can catch them on film.
  • Childhood Friends: Hoppo and Kerrbox have known each other since they were five years old.
  • Christmas Episode: Once a season, an episode will usually cover Christmas Day. This involves tourists in festive clothing, and one of the lifeguards dressing as Santa to give out treats to the kids.
  • Color Motif: The lifeguards all wear a uniform of navy shorts with a sky-blue t-shirt, and use matching sky-blue boards in the water. The volunteer lifeguards wear bright yellow and red with yellow boards and floatation devices. This makes both teams easy to spot on the busy beaches and in the water.
  • Coming of Age Story: The series becomes this for the probies who end up spending many years life guarding at Bondi Beach, such as Maxi and Reidy.
  • Crappy Holidays: Christmas holidays on Bondi Beach can turn into this, as it is usually the busiest season for the lifeguards. On one occasion, Valentine's Day ended with a Bomb Disposal Squad having to be called in.
  • The Dandy: Bisho.
  • Didn't Think This Through: A bag thief who steals for the first time - and gets caught right away.
    • Not thinking results in many swimming and surfing mishaps, especially with non-swimmers.
  • Ensemble Cast: Combined with Rotating Protagonist (featured lifeguards can change from season to season) and loads and loads of characters(like celebrities, police officers, tourists, locals, EMT's, etc.).
  • Documentary: The TV Documentary kind.
  • Family Business: Maxi's younger cousin Ryan becomes a trainee lifeguard in season 11.
  • Feeling Their Age: H and Kerrbox complain the most about it.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Kyle, a lifeguard from Oahu, Hawaii, is on loan to Bondi for six weeks.
    • Two years later, Whippet, Kerrbox and Dunno go to Hawaii to seek training from Kyle regarding high waves rescue.
    • Bondi Rescue: Bali came about this way. In 2008 Deano, Reidy, Whippet, Chappo, Eggers, Matty Dee, Kobi and others join for two months the hundred strong local life guards (supervised by popular singer Marcello Arayafaya) in an official international exchange program.
  • Former Child Star: Averted by Ryan 'Whippet' Clark, who, as a child, appeared in long-running Australian soap opera Homeand Away for a decade prior to becoming a lifeguard. He seems to have avoided all the classic former child star tropes though.
  • Groin Attack: The lifeguards deal with a man who has been bitten on the penis by a dog.
    • And also a man who gets stung by a Bluebottle while swimming.
    • Tommy does this to himself with his rescue board.
  • Heroic Bystander: If a person is struggling in the water, nearby surfers will sometimes come to their aid until a lifeguard reaches them. The youngest surfer to do this was seven years old. Likewise it is often the friends of the victim who pull them from the water.
    • When two scuba divers get smashed against rocks by huge waves, Harries (without a radio) calls up to several bystanders to call 000, knowing the message will get sent to the lifeguard's tower.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: Hoppo is the master of the less extreme version.
    • The lifeguards often experience this after losing a patient, or while doing body retrieval.
  • Hollywood Drowning: A couple of pranksters use this to get the attention of the lifeguards so they can be on the show. The lifeguards refuse to play the game and they get the police to kick them off the beach. They DO make it onto the show, but are depicted as dangerous idiots.
  • Improbable Age: H retired from life guarding at Bondi at age 64.
  • Injured Limb Episode: Any given episode. Lifeguards can get serious enough injuries (cracked ribs, dislocations, large gashes) to be confined to Tower duty until they heal.
    • Jethro gets one when he dislocates his shoulder while bringing in the Jet-ski.
    • Jesse cracks a vertebra in an off-hours surfing accident.
    • The Roosters NRL team go surfing with the lifeguards, but when one of the players runs over Yatesy with a rescue board, it breaks his ribs which puncture his lung.
    • Surfers and skateboarders often dislocate something during an episode, or suffer deep, bloody gashes.
    • One episode dealt with a surfer getting his hand bitten off by a shark. Fortunately the attack itself did not happen during filming.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Harries.
  • Intoxication Ensues: What inevitably happens after a patient is given the pain-killing analgesic gas inhaler, nicknamed the green whistle.
  • Japandering: As part of a prank, Kerrbox is convinced by Whippet that he is invokedBig In Japan and thus is perfect to be the star of a Japanese energy drink commercial (written and directed by some of Whippet's Japanese friends). The resulting 'commercial' and reveal of the prank informs Kerrbox that the fake energy drink name 'Nikano Oshiko' was actually Japanese for Cat Piss.
  • Land Down Under: During blue bottle season (i.e. when this stinging jellyfish shows up on the beach). Also, sharks and sea snakes make their appearance.
  • The Leader: Bruce 'Hoppo' Hopkins.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Jethro, Tommy, Dunno. H and Kerrbox when they were (much)younger.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Beardy gets very, very annoyed when some drunk New Year's revelers walk off with the Tower's box of candy. Eventually an amused Maxi goes down to get it back.
  • Major Injury Underreaction: Some patients can take pain surprisingly well, sometimes due to them still being in shock. The most impressive might be the guy with bluebottle stings covering most of his stomach, which was described by Harrison as the biggest he'd ever seen, but there are plenty of other honourable mentions.
  • Man Hug: Often, especially after a good rescue - or worse, after a horrible one.
  • Man in a Bikini: Harries, of course. Played for Laughs.
  • Manipulative Editing: Music is often used to broadcast how a rescue is going, or whether to laugh or gasp at an injury.
  • Manly Tears: Terry breaks down while describing his rescue of a small child, because the potential of having to deal with a grieving mother brought up the grief from his own child dying as a newborn.
    • Fatalities can also bring the lifeguards to these.
  • Mood Whiplash: Many rescues start off as tense (with appropriate music), only to end with something comical happening. For example:
  • Mr. Fanservice: Almost the entire male cast is this in one way or another.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Many examples:
    • Harries having to put on a g-string to get his new spray tan.
    • People running naked into the surf on a dare. Combined with Streaking.
    • People being rescued minus their bathing suit.
    • Deano having to chase naked, sex-having people off the beach on New Year's Day morning.
  • Near-Death Experience: Some rescues have been this for the patient.
  • Oh, Crap!: Whenever a rescue goes dangerously wrong.
  • Old Master: H.
  • Once a Season: Every season usually features an episode set during Christmas Day and one set during New Years Day, usually involving a lot of drunk and hungover tourists and the issues they cause for the lifeguards. There's also usually an episode each season covering the annual Lifeguard Challenge.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Pretty much everybody. If they don't have an in-series nickname yet, they are probably a probie.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Brooke, Nicola and Jules.
  • Practical Joke: Constantly, especially against the probies, but no one is safe.
    • Candid Camera Prank: Kerrbox sets up hidden cameras all around his house, then invites the guys over for dinner - and tapes who cheats on the "30-Day Challenge" diet. Cheaters have to do 50 burpees.
    • Eyepiece Prank: Binoculars plus shoe polish plus Gonzo. Thanks, Reidy.
    • Screamer Prank: Kerrbox HATES rats. So what do they put in a box for him?
    • Harrison (while a probie) is given a clicker to go count all the people on the beach "for research purposes".
    • Glick is terrified of sharks. Kerrbox takes him out on the Jet-ski to check on the shark nets, then drives off cackling once Glick is in the water.
    • Glick gets payback when he tricks Kerrbox into taking a helicopter ride. Kerrbox is afraid of heights.
    • Harries is given a new fake tan at a salon courtesy of Kerrbox and Hoppo - which turns him blue.
    Kerrbox: "He looks like a smurf!"
  • The Pretty Guys Are Stronger: Harries has no problem beating a visiting weightlifter in a lifeguard race.
  • Primal Fear: Kerrbox: rats, heights. Jules: storms. Maxi: snakes. Glick: sharks. Nicola: the deep, deep ocean.
  • Properly Paranoid: Lifeguards take the risk of spinal injuries very seriously, even if the patient appears to have full mobility and sensation; and while they do have some false alarms, at other times their caution is often the reason a patient is able to make a full recovery.
  • Public Service Announcement: Matt Dee and Reidy help film PSA's for the Bondi Beach wifi consisting of a safety message in several languages. Matt tries to convince Reidy he's good at languages.
    Matt Dee: My dad's Korean.
    • Later:
    Matt Dee: My dad's Russian.
    (cut to...)
    Russian beachgoer Natalya: It says 'be safe, swim between the flags' but Russian is very bad.
    (cut to...)
    Matt Dee: Natalya? That's not even a Russian name. I don't know who she thinks she is. (laughs)
    • PSA's about how to deal with finding yourself in a riptide are worked into the show.
  • Pulled from Your Day Off: Every now and again as the lifeguards are on duty 365 days a year.
  • Rank Up: Whenever a probie becomes a permanent lifeguard.
  • Romantic Wingman: Harries tries to be this for Singlets - whether he wants Harries' help or not. Embarrassment ensues, both for Singlets and the woman he was trying to help.
  • Slap Stick: Surfing mishaps and wipe outs are often portrayed as this - especially if it happens to one of the lifeguards.
  • The Smurfette Principle: The lifeguards are all men - except for Brooke. Later, Nicola. Then Jules. There has not often been more than one woman at a time in the professional Bondi lifeguards.
  • Spin-Off: Bondi Rescue: Bali.
  • Stop Drowning and Stand Up: Panic can cause a person to drown in shallow water.
  • Talking Heads: Footage of rescues, shenanigans, and other happenings at Bondi Beach are interspersed with commentary from lifeguards, patients and other beachgoers.
  • The Team
  • Team Dad: Two: Hoppo as leader, and H as the oldest.
  • Thong of Shielding: What Harries had to wear to get his new spray tan.
    • What many beach goers wear.
  • Threatening Shark: Shark sightings are often reported to the lifeguards by the public. The lifeguards only sound the shark alarm to clear the water if they think there is genuinely a shark out there. So far, there has only been one confirmed shark attack featured during the show's run.
  • Toplessness from the Back: The occasional topless European sunbather is shown this way.
  • True Companions
  • Truncated Theme Tune: The theme song in season 14 is half as long as in season 1.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Harries wants to propose to his girlfriend Emily by flying her in a helicopter over Bondi Beach where (hopefully) the guys have created a large sign saying "Marry Me". Harries unfortunately did not give the guys any instructions as to how to do this. Hilarity ensues. Thankfully she said yes anyway.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: They're lifeguards. It's what they do. Also many a Walking Shirtless Scene.
  • Wedding Episode: Subverted in that despite Harries's proposal detailed above, viewers aren't shown the subsequent wedding. But played straight with the wedding of head lifeguard Hoppo which is featured in the season ten finale.