Bondi Rescue Series 1 Episode 4: The aftershock

Bondi Rescue Series 1 Episode 4: The aftershock
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The lifeguards are euphoric. Thanks to their skill and quick action, they’ve managed to bring a young man back to life who was found face down in the water and clinically dead. Summary by Janet Bell.

The debriefing is part of the lifeguards’ ritual after a life-threatening event. They need to talk about how things were handled in order to work out whether anything could have been managed better. In this case, the outcome was terrific. At another time, the young Japanese student might not have been so lucky.

The following week we learn that after the Japanese student is taken by ambulance to the hospital, some of the lifeguards visit him there. We discover that he has a congenital heart problem and he’ll have to have special treatment to prevent a reoccurrence of his heart failure.

Title Synopsis

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

Title Curator’s Notes

In each program, the lifeguards are seen dealing with lost children, blue bottle stings or a pervert on the beach but this week there’s the potential tragedy of a near drowning. Suddenly we understand why the lifeguards stay at peak fitness and keep up-to-date with their rescue techniques.

For several weeks during the summer of 2006, the filmmakers had seven cameras at Bondi Beach from dawn to sunset each weekend, filming the reality of Australia’s most popular beach where as many as 40,000 people can be on the sand at any one time. The series came about when Michael Cordell was approached by a young filmmaker, Ben Davies, who had himself been a lifeguard at Bondi. Davies persuaded the lifeguards and the local council who employ them that such a reality series would be an important adjunct to teaching people about beach safety.

Notes by Janet Bell

Production company:
Cordell Jigsaw Productions
Consultant producer:
David Gyngell
Field producers:
Christopher Zinn, Rick McPhee, Daniel Marsden
Hugh Piper
Executive producers:
Michael Cordell, Nick Murray
Series producer:
Ben Davies
Narration script:
Michael Cordell

An ambulance drives away from the beach, sirens blazing. Inside, the lifeguards are debriefing after resuscitating a young Japanese tourist on the beach.
Narrator Taka’s being rushed to hospital after lifeguards brought him back from death. Hoppo’s conducted scores of resuscitations, but Taka’s ranks as one of the most dramatic. 
Lifeguard Three shocks is a fair bit, eh. 
Hoppo Three shocks is a fair bit. Pretty much if that third shock didn’t work, it would have been starting to get out to that time where we’re really going to start pushing to get him back. It came back really strong real quick, the pulse, and usually that’s a good sign. 
Lifeguard Yep.

Hoppo is interviewed later over footage of the rescue. 
Hoppo A dead look is a real weird sort of look. You know they’re basically dead when you see them. And to actually know, when you feel, that you can’t feel a pulse, and watch the defib shock them, and then actually get them back breathing, and with a pulse, it’s an amazing feeling that you probably can’t really describe in words, about how you really feel. I know the guys, after we do it, we have a debrief and the buzz around that, you know, you’ve just revived somebody, is absolutely amazing.

Nathan and Whippet are talking on the balcony overlooking the beach.
Narrator Younger lifeguards Nathan and Whippet are still coming to grips with what happened. 
Nathan How lucky was it that we were doing that photo shoot thing, and to have Hoppo down there and… 
Whippet Everyone was on it straightaway. It was good. 
Nathan Five of us in the first five seconds is good. Hoppo and (inaudible) were sick but, though. It was good. 
Whippet He was talking and everything when you got him on the bike, eh. 
Nathan Mm’hm. 
Whippet That’s unreal. That’s great. 
Nathan Seeing the shock when it shocks them, when they do that move, that’s the first time I’ve ever seen it. 
Whippet That’s the first time I’ve seen a big shock like that. 
Nathan After two shocks he got a pulse again, I think, and then it went again, so they, and the third one and that snapped him back kind of quick. 
Whippet What did he say when he come to? 
Nathan I think he said sorry, eh.