Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Bondi Rescue (2005 - current)

Reality series
40 episodes x 30 minutes

Series synopsis:

Each weekend during the summer months as many as 40,000 people can be attracted to Australia’s most popular surfing beach, Bondi. The lifeguards patrol the beach and rescue people caught in rips, apply ice to severe bluebottle stings or help to find lost children. This series tells their story.

Curator’s Notes:

A reality documentary series about a group of lifeguards whom we come to know as individuals over the long weeks of the summer. Mostly they’re skylarking elite athletes but when a tragedy happens and people must be rescued, they work together as a finely tuned machine to keep the beachgoers safe.

Each weekend during the summer, the production company has three camera crews and three roving producers with their own cameras as well as a fixed camera in the patrol tower, to capture the action. The series came about when the producer and former lifeguard Ben Davies was able to persuade his ex colleagues that a series showing how they work would be a great information tool for beachgoers. Executive producer Michael Cordell was quick to see that the series would have its own in-built drama and each week the lifeguards pit themselves against the elements to keep people safe and go head to head against each other in feats of daring in order to keep themselves in peak form.

Series one of Bondi Rescue was broadcast over the Australian summer of 2005-06, with series two shown in 2006-07 and series three in 2007-08. A spin-off series, Bondi Rescue: Bali, also screened in 2008.

Titles in this series

Bondi Rescue – Series 1, Episode 4 2006

A young man is found lifeless in the water on a surprisingly calm day. With no breath and no pulse, a frantic resuscitation begins.

Bondi Rescue – Series 2, Episode 7 2007

A tragedy unfolds at Bondi Beach when the lifeguards see someone in difficulty in treacherous water who then disappears from view behind the waves. There are 20,000 people at the beach that day and when no-one is reported missing, the ...

Images from the series