Last week on Channel 10, a brand new season of Bondi Rescue kicked off. In this season, the lifeguards have a bit more than just rough surf and sharks to deal with. Joining us on the phone to chat all about it is one of the leading lifeguards. It’s none other than Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins.
Kirste admitted that during a family holiday to Sydney, while at Bondi Beach one of her daughter’s was floating out in the back of the wash. Just hoping to be spotted by one of the Bondi Rescue lifeguards. After a while, Kirste had to tell her to come in as she had been out their too long.
Bondi Beach closed for five weeks during lockdown last year, the first time ever since World War II.
“It was a weird time,” said Hoppo. “But it was a good chance to do a bit more internal trout training really. We just got stuck into that and especially with the new guys.”
Even when the beach was able to re-open it was a totally different crowd to what the Bondi Rescue Team are used to. “It was just people from Sydney, really western suburbs, obviously no international tourists at all this year. So we’re probably down 50% on our normal crowds.”
Between saving lives multiple times a day, day in and day out and a nationally acclaimed TV series, the Bondi Rescue Team have developed a celebrity status. But when you have 30-35,000 people on the beach under your care, this isn’t always the most helpful feature. “We’re out and about on the beach with the rest of the public so people are coming out for photos and at the same time you’re trying to watch people in the water and yes, it can be quite hard.”
The Bondi Rescue Team are best known by their nicknames, so Kirste and Dan asked for some advice on how to coin their producer, Leon. “We’ve tried Le-Le, LP, we do you think, what should we call him?” Asked Kirste. “It’s hard because you can base it off a name, or we wait for someone to do something stupid on the beach and we make that stick – so wait for the next time he does something like that.”
You would think that the rescuers had seen it all across 16 seasons. But on the season premiere the team endeavor to save a hang glider who misses the beach and lands in the water. “We’ve never had one of those before,” says Hoppo. Catch the all-new season of Bondi Rescue on Channel 10 and 10 Play.
Have a listen to the whole conversation Kirste and Dan had with Bruce ‘Hoppo’ Hopkins below: