Bondi Beach is one of the most iconic beaches in Australia with its clear blue water, golden sand and crescent shape leading to a beautiful coastal walking path peppered with a combination of casual cafés and five-star restaurants. On a sunny day, Bondi Beach can attract up to 40,000 visitors – its popularity amongst locals and tourists alike led to the conception of a reality TV show based on the lives and routines of the professional lifesavers who patrol Bondi Beach, called ‘Bondi Rescue’.
As a fan of the American TV series ‘Baywatch’ starring David Hasselhoff since childhood, MHE-Demag Australia’ marketing executive Kevin Seim always aspired to be a lifesaver and decided to turn his dream into a reality this year.
In order to enrol in the bronze medallion course for lifesavers, he had to be able to swim 400m in under eight minutes. After rigorous training, the surfing and body boarding enthusiast managed to pass the swim test and secured a spot in the 10-week programme to complete a certificate in Public Safety and Aquatic Rescue.
Over the 10-week period, he underwent a series of theoretical and practical sessions twice a week which covered a wide range of knowledge and skills imperative to becoming a lifesaver. These included ocean swimming, tube and board rescue, spinal injury management, dry and wet sand running, hand signal communication to communicate with other lifesavers, first aid and CPR, reading the ocean and dealing with stings or bites form jellyfish, blue bottles and octopus.
The programme concluded with a practical and theoretical assessment which he passed and finished an impressive third place amongst the other participants. The practical assessment consisted of a 200m sand run followed by a 200m ocean swim and another 200m sand run – all of which had to be completed under eight minutes. He completed his assessment in five minutes and 31 seconds even in unusually poor conditions and murky water.
His success in the assessment landed him a spot in the volunteer patrol group and will see him perform official lifesaving duties at Bondi Beach on at least 12 occasions during the official surf season in Australia, which commences between September to April the following year.
For those heading to Bondi Beach soon, keep an eye out for Seim or spot him on ‘Bondi Rescue’ – and remember, always swim between the flags to stay safe!