Bondi Rescue is more than just burly lads in board shorts - they are vital to beach safety

Action men: Bondi Rescue lifeguards Harrison and Jethro motor up the beach during training. Photo supplied
Action men: Bondi Rescue lifeguards Harrison and Jethro motor up the beach during training. Photo supplied

Young Noah Finnimore has only just turned 18 years old but couldn't wait to be part of the Bondi Rescue squad.

He competed in Nippers from an early age and loves to surf. His reason for signing on as a lifeguard is because he sees it as a unique job. He naturally enjoys the outdoor lifestyle and the freedom to continue with his hobbies outside of work.

Eighteen-year-old Chase Hardaker is a Bronte boy who has surfed since he was a child.

He wanted to a job where he could help other people in an area he's most comfortable.

Growing up on the beach and seeing how enthusiastic the lifeguards in his area were and hearing about how much they loved their jobs was his inspiration for getting on board the Bondi crew with Hoppe and Beardy at the helm.

Dylan Davis has been surfing for most of his 18 years. He was part of his school swim squad and has been around the beach since he can remember.

As a Nipper from a young age and a member of Bondi Surf Club, it was a natural progression to join the team.

He says he couldn't think of anything he'd rather do more with his life than be a lifeguard. Dylan has always lived in Bondi and to now be working on the beach he loves and respects, well, it's where he's meant to be.

He joined the lifeguards to help people, and of course for the lifestyle. But there is also a more personal reason - in memory of his dad. Dylan was in the surf with him when he had a heart attack. He watched on as local lifeguards and paramedics tried to revive him on the water's edge.

Joel Bolewski is the "old man" of the newbies at 38. A Shire lad out of Cronulla, he has been a member of Cronulla Surf Club since the age of 12.

He competed at the club as a board paddler and worked for 15 years as a lifeguard on Cronulla's beaches. His spare time is all about the ocean, either surfing or fishing.

He joined Bondi lifeguards to give himself a fresh start and has found it amazing. He fitted straight in with the rest of the guys and girls and is continuing to enjoy doing the job he is so passionate about.

Juliana King has what some would consider a pretty amazing job as the only female on the Bondi Rescue team.

At school she competed in spring board and platform diving as well as swimming in her senior years. She was in the local surf club As a young surfer she became friends with the local lifeguards and thought they had the best job in the world.

After graduation she competed in triathlons across the globe and says the ocean makes her feel more calm, comfortable, and confident.

In 2006, she got a job with Lake Macquarie City Council as their first female lifeguard. She has also worked as a lifeguard for the councils in Newcastle and Noosa and spent a bit of time in California with the junior guards and joining in with their training programs.

In 2015 she paddled a board from Newcastle to Bondi for charity and later paddled 1000km from Newcastle to Noosa for domestic violence and ocean conservation.

She has been a lifeguard for 14 years and says now, more than ever, she truly respects and appreciates the job and its diversity.

One of the things she loves most about being a Bondi lifeguard is no day is ever the same.

"There are constant moments within each day where your heart races. It can be simple little things or when something turns pretty serious within moments in the water."

The greatest lesson she has learnt while being a lifeguard is to be patient and calm, but she admits it is still a work in progress.

Juliana believes the most important characteristics for a lifeguard are good communication skills, an absolute understanding and knowledge of the ocean, fitness, an ability to predict potential danger and visual alertness.

The hardest part of the job according to Juliana is how incredibly tiring it is spending so much time in the open elements.

One of the things that drew her to the job is the emergency response involved. She loves that aspect and it spurred her on to studying paramedics.

"Amidst the chaos in any emergency I know first hand I have to focus on slowing down and maintaining control of the situation."

Over many years working on the beach she has done dozens of rescues, however, a few years ago on a Sunday working at Bondi, she officially did more rescues in one day than she had done in multiple years working further up the coast.

Juliana has been fascinated by sharks since she was a toddler.

"I have so much deep respect for them; it upsets me to hear all the unnecessary hatred that gets thrown their way from people with little understanding of the bigger picture beyond seeing them as a man-eater."

She does have fears, but says they don't revolve around animals or the ocean.

When not on patrol, Juliana teaches high school PE, is a personal trainer, a learn to swim teacher, and occasionally sells custom artworks.

This busy woman even makes time for surfing, running, sketching, reading, golf, cycling, paddling, and cooking.

In fact, if she wasn't a lifeguard she would be a full time professional triathlete or golfer.

And, some years ago she was ranked third and seventh in the world for aerobics.

As the only female, does she hang out with any of the lifeguards on the weekend? Apparently for the occasional game of golf or training of some kind.

And what is the silliest thing she's seen on Bondi Beach? A life size T-rex dinosaur.

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