Watch: Man Spots a Drowning Little Girl, Rescues Her In Touching Moment
Jay Dawson June 8th 2017 Entertainment
There are so many men and women who dedicate their lives to saving us from danger. Police, firefighters, and paramedics - they all play their role in making the world a better place, and they are justly celebrated for their incredible deeds. But what about the unsung heroes who risk their lives to simply make our beaches, our fun in the sun, a safe place to be? What about our lifeguards? Here's just one story of a lifeguard who saved a life, and changed a little girl's life forever...
A Terrifying Moment
It was an otherwise ordinary day at Bondi Beach in Australia, and both the usual crowds and the lifeguards were relaxed and enjoying the beautiful weather. But amongst this peaceful scene, a little girl was fighting for her life. She had entered the water for a swim, and gotten in way over her head. It looked as if it might be the last swim she would ever take.
As her arms flailed for help above the surface, time and time again she was swamped by the heavy surf. With swells breaking over her, she fought for each breath and was getting weaker and weaker. Soon she would have no more energy left to struggle. Soon she would go under for ever. If it wasn't for the trained eyes of a lifeguard in the tower, it would be another senseless tragedy. But his instant reaction, his heroism, will stun you...
The Lifeguard Who Responded
The man in the video you're about to see is called Terry McDermott. He's been a lifeguard for years at Bondi Beach, and a very good one at that. Born and raised in the legendary surf spot of Maroubra, in Sydney's eastern suburbs, he has a lifetime love and respect for the mighty Pacific ocean, which crashes down over Australia's entire east coast.
Now living in Watson's Bay, a couple of miles north of Bondi, he's exactly what you would expect of a typical Australia. Bronzed by the sun, ripped like a bodybuilder, laconic, funny, and always in search of an extremely cold beer. The beach is his home, and he wouldn't dream of being anywhere else. He loves his job, and will not think twice in an emergency. He's the man you want when shit goes south - cool, calm, and professional.
His Tragic Past
Beneath Terry McDermott's sunny and laidback exterior lies a tragic past. He's battled demons of his own, after the awful death of his infant daughter while she was being born. Many years ago, he was looking forward to the birth of his first child. But the baby was trapped in the birth canal for too long, and out of its protective amniotic sac, it badly needed oxygen that it couldn't get. His baby, in effect, drowned in what must have been an absolutely devastating blow.
Whether or not that has affected his life from then on, it must have been subconsciously playing in his mind when he saw that little girl out there, fighting for her life. Maybe every time he goes out there and saves someone, he is secretly trying to save his unborn daughter, again and again.
The beach at the heart of this incredible rescue is the most famous beach in Australia, and one of the most iconic beaches in the world. Visitors and locals alike flock in their thousands to this sweeping crescent of powdery sand and brilliantly blue water. Surfers, too, are attracted to the incredible point break off the southern end, and it's not unusual to see the beach completely jam-packed full of people on a summer's day.
Located about 4 miles east of the city of Sydney, this is Australian beach living at its finest and most laidback. Coupled with the famous Bondi Icebergs ocean pool (swim there in winter and you'll understand where the name comes from), and the absolutely gorgeous vistas from the hills and clifftops at both ends of the beach, it's a tourist attraction like no other.
Stunning Location, Killer Surf
Besides being a tourist attraction, Bondi Beach can also be a pretty damned dangerous place to be. Thanks to the formation of the beach and the often pounding surf, swimming in certain areas can be simply inviting tragedy. One infamous feature is called the "Backpacker's Rip", a riptide that can sweep you, without warning, quickly out to sea. It's named that way because it's usually located just in front of the bus stop, meaning people who come to Bondi from other places pick it as the first place to swim. Being a riptide, it's also much calmer-looking water than other parts of the beach.
But don't be fooled by the calm patch water. Below the surface, insanely strong currents will pick you up and carry you away. As anyone in Australia will tell you, always swim between the flags - you're a fool if you don't.
A Company Of Heroes
For such a busy beach with such dangerous conditions, Bondi Beach has a surprisingly low fatality rate. Aside from "Black Sunday" (a spate of drownings that occurred on one day in 1938) and a tragedy that occurred just a couple of months ago, very few people lose their lives at this famous landmark.
The major reason for this is the small band of heroes that constantly patrol this beach: the Bondi Lifesavers. Day in, day out, they're there to ensure no-one comes to harm. They're a highly trained, highly athletic, and fearless group of men and women who takes the public's safety - and the image of the beach - very seriously indeed. Without them and a rotating group of volunteer assistant lifeguards, thousands more people would have fallen victim to the difficult conditions. Not just at Bondi Beach, mind you: surf lifesavers are heroes along the entire stretch of Australia's 22,000 miles of coastline.
Nowadays, many people across the world have heard of the Bondi Lifesavers. Thanks to a little TV show called Bondi Rescue, these extremely attractive and very brave ladies and gentlemen have exploded onto the world scene. Millions of people in 100 countries have watched their ups and downs and daring exploits for close to 12 years now, and fallen in love with their iconic blue uniforms and particular brand of Aussie heroism.
136 episodes later, they're still the darlings of the TV industry and the viewing public. And still, all the fame and attention hasn't gotten to their heads. Despite the TV crews, despite the hounding of fans, they're still doing what they do best, and doing it very well. Even if there wasn't a camera watching their every move, they'd still be there saving lives.
Dealing With Some Unusual Incidents
These lifeguards don't just save lives, actually. Yes, that's an integral part of their job, but as the TV series shows, sometimes they find themselves in much more unusual (and sometimes, downright hilarious) situations. In amongst the rescues are stories of lost children, shark scares, bluebottle stings, injuries, drunk beachgoers and thieves on the beach.
In one memorable incident, they tended to a man who had his penis partially chewed off by a very rowdy dog. Others have included beach nudists, Paris Hilton, and even the entire Indian Cricket Team. Since they're also responsible for nearby Bronte and Tamarama beaches, there's never any shortage of tales to tell. And with lifeguards named "Bacon", "Quiggers", "Yak", and "Lionel Hutz", you can see why this show is loved worldwide. Most of the time, it's just a hell of a lot of fun.
Scandals Of Their Own
Sometimes, though, these lifesavers have problems of their own. They're not always the squeaky clean heroes that they appear to be on camera. Although they do their jobs professionally and excellently, personal issues and problems between club members have often spilled over into the mainstream media.
Just last year, the show and club were rocked by allegations that the lifeguards had received tens of thousands of dollars in unauthorized payments from Red Bull and Mars. Alongside that, several lifeguards were involved in an altercation in a famous Bondi nightclub, and one lifesaver ended up in rehab. The chief lifeguard, Bruce "Hoppo" Hopkins, has also come under fire for taking his wife on a jetski to retrieve a body from the surf. And she was definitely not a lifeguard herself. Coupled with occasional in-fighting and a brawl or two, it's a sometimes tumultuous life for these boys and girls.
Watch This Incredible Moment Unfold
All of that scandal, though, doesn't change the truth of this moment. As this video shows, both Terry McDermott and his colleagues will always be heroes, no matter what. When spies this young girl from the shore, there are no thoughts about anything else but her safety. His instant reaction to save this drowning girl's life will truly shed a shiver down your spine.
Watch the video and you'll no doubt agree: the world needs more men and women with the courage that this man has. In these dark and uncertain times, to be sure, more and more tales of bravery under extreme circumstances are coming out. Would you have what it takes to try and save one person's life? Do you think you're ready to leap into action without thinking? Could you be like this man?