Mount lifeguardsā€˜ small screen debut

Bay Patrol director Candace McNabb interviews a Mount lifeguard for the show. Photo: John Borren.

Mount lifeguards are getting their moment in the sun this summer as subjects of a new TV show Bay Patrol.

Becoming small screen celebrities is merely a speck in the ocean for the lifeguards as their priority is keeping people on the beach safe.

Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service head lifeguard John Dugard says it’s a busy beach so he just does his job, doesn’t think about the camera crew and hopes it turns out well for TV.  

He says the younger guards are excited about being on the show – but with hundreds of hours of vision being shot there’s no guarantees they will all make the cut.

It’s a busy summer with more people on the beach than previous years but the conditions on the water have been pretty calm, says John.

So far this season there have only been a couple of minor rescues and the guards have given first aid to a number of people.   

Water rescues are just a small part of a lifeguard’s job and the biggest thing is concentration throughout the day, says John.

“Having eyes on the water and trying to prevent rescues from happening. You might not have to do a rescue but you have the busiest day ever.”

Bay Patrol series producer Alysha Kennedy didn’t realise how much lifeguards do until the crew started filming in late December.  

“I am so in awe of the lifeguards and what they do. It's actually incredible what they do each day and how they are so resilient.”

Alysha and the seven crew members feel “super lucky” to be spending summer in the Mount even though they often work 10-hour days.

There are some challenges to filming on a beach, like carrying a heavy camera on sand in 28c heat, but the crew all look out for each and make sure they stay hydrated and keep applying sunscreen, says Alysha.

The observational documentary follows the day-to-day life of the Mount Maunganui Lifeguard Service team and the crew ensure they never get in the way of them doing their job, she says.

It’s going to be an amazing show for the community that showcases how beautiful the area is, says Alysha.

Bay Patrol will air on TV Three later this year.

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