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Nov 24, 2016  ·  3 min read

The Bondi Lifeguards are instantly recognisable – they save lives on a daily basis and have enjoyed a bit of fame from their hit series, ‘Bondi Rescue’. They keep Bondi Beach safe and make sure it’s enjoyed safely.

Bruce Hopkins, is the head lifeguard at Bondi Beach… the leader of the motley crew.

Hoppo’s normal day involves getting a coffee from Chapter One Bondi, checking the surf and casually saving lives. It is a dream job, there’s no doubt about that, but keep in mind that on a classic summer’s day when Sydney is all blue skies and golden sun and glassy four-footers are rolling in, there could be 40-odd thousand punters running amok on Bondi Beach. They have their work cut out for them, these lads do. We caught up with Hoppo for a few words…

What’s it like being a lifeguard on one of the world’s most famous beaches?

Being a lifeguard is the best lifestyle in the world. It’s exciting – there’s dead set never a dull moment and it’s great to meet so many diverse people.

Can you quickly describe you and the crew and Bondi?

We are elite watermen… but also cheeky characters with a great sense of humour. And Bondi is like a heartbeat that never stops.

What’s the hairiest situation you’ve encountered in the surf? And what about some advice for tourists wanting to go for a dip?

We were out Ben Buckler point on rescue boards and got caught inside a massive 12ft that closed out the whole bay. That was bloody hairy. As for tourists – know your ability, swim between the flags and ask a lifeguard if you’re not sure of the conditions.

Budgie smugglers and going topless at the beach – yay or nay?

Nay to Budgie smugglers, yay to topless!

What are the different surf spots at Bondi?

You have kiddies corner in northern corner, Main Stairs, Backpackers, south corner and Ben Buckler point.

How many people do you guys save a week in summer?

We can have anything up to 400 rescues in a week!

Lastly, any advice for getting on Bondi Rescue?

You need to be competent in the water swimming and on a rescue board. A good attention span with knowledge of spotting a person in trouble and knowing beach conditions.

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