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Lifeguards In Class Of Their Own

By Duncan Horscroft on December 15, 2010 in News

It’s well known that Australian professional lifeguards are the best in the business, and the boys in blue – and white – from the beaches in Sydney’s east are leading the way in life saving and surf education both on home soil and overseas.

A couple of Maroubra’s finest recently went on a mission with Randwick City Council mascot Larry the Lifeguard to spread the message to more than 700 students in the state’s west.

Joshua Reading and Duncan Scott visited Temora with their Surf Sense program aimed at making the children more aware of what to expect when they visit the beach, even though a lot of the kids have never seen the ocean.

Randwick mayor Murray Matson said it was an important exercise, especially at this time of year when a huge number of kids visit coastal areas for their summer holidays.

“Temora and Randwick City are sister cities and our expert lifeguards have been running this program in the Riverina town for the past four years,” Cr Matson said.

The lifeguards said the children were really smart and absorbed the information quickly.

“Ultimately it’s about ensuring they know what to do when they visit the beach and hopefully they will pass the information on to other kids from the region,” Scott said.

But Temora never comes for Anthony `Harries’ Carroll and Waverley head lifeguard Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins.

They are faced with a big challenge after last month flying to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to link up with Kris Yates, who has been over there since late last year.

Hoppo said the move followed a request from an ex-patriot South African woman in Dubai who had watched episodes of Bondi Rescue, which is shown three times a day in the oil-rich Sheikhdom.

 “There are a lot of beaches over there and people are always getting into trouble because they don’t know about things such as rips and wave movement,” Hoppo said.

“We received an email from this woman on the Bondi Rescue website who said she needed someone to come over and train people in surf lifesaving as well as setting up a surf club.

“We did go over for a week to have a look and were amazed at the number of ex-pats that were there. There’s something like 2000 kids alone.”

While Yatesy remained in the country for more than a month it turned out the money he was expecting never came despite being provided with food and lodging.

Hoppo and Harries were assured of an audience with the Sheikh when they returned because they were told he was keen to get his young daughter involved.

But when they were due to return last month their phone calls fell on deaf ears.

The boys were given the all-clear by Waverley Council and the Bondi Rescue film crew were all set to fly over.

It seems the woman was keen to get the kids endorsed in surf safety with the likes of a QC certificate so they could effectively do surf patrols on the beach.

A figure of $400 per child was mentioned as being charged to the parents for the children to train under the watchful eye of the lifeguards. For 2,000 kids that adds up to nice earn of $800,000!

Nice work if you can get it.

Stay tuned.