Australian TV lifeguard swaps Bondi Rescue for South Shields beach as part of water safety drive

An Australian lifeguard who featured on reality TV show Bondi Rescue is heading to South Tyneside.

Trent ‘Maxi’ Maxwell will be hosting a ‘rookie camp’ with members of South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club and South Shields Surf School at Sandhaven beach on Saturday May 4.

The event will see youngsters given the chance to learn water safety tips from the 27-year-old - who started volunteering as a lifeguard on one of Australia’s most iconic beaches at the age of 16.

Trent Maxi Maxwell at Sandhaven Beach at his last visitTrent Maxi Maxwell at Sandhaven Beach at his last visit
Trent Maxi Maxwell at Sandhaven Beach at his last visit
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Maxi, who is now a full-time firefighter, has also combined those skills with those he learned as a lifeguard to launch social enterprise ‘Live Learn Survive’ - a series of interactive fire and water safety workshops for children and young adults.

It’s this workshop he is bringing to South Tyneside in his role as Rookie Lifeguard Ambassador for The Royal Lifesaving Society UK.

The camp ‘Taking it to the Maxi’ will feature a simulated rescue of a casualty in the sea by Maxi, a hazard identification tour of Sandhaven Beach, bodyboarding with South Shields Surf School and CPR and water safety lessons.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service will also be giving fire safety advice and demonstrations around the dangers of fire, and South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade will be teaming up with their Tynemouth counterparts to demonstrate their rescue techniques. 
A litter pick, organised by Surfers Against Sewage, will take place throughout the event.

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Gillian Wilkinson from South Shields Volunteer Lifeguard Club said: “Over 400 people die through drowning each year in the UK, which is one person every 20 hours.

“Our aim is to turn all bystanders into lifesavers by offering training.

“The aim of Maxi’s visit is to educate young people in the dangers of open water and to prevent further tragedies from happening.”

She added: “We were lucky to have Maxi here in August and thrilled when he asked to come back to us on this tour.

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“Like us, he is passionate about educating people in water safety and reducing the drowning rates both here in the UK and around the world.”

The event has been designed for youngsters aged six to 16 and will start at 1pm from Mowbray Lifeguard Station on Sandhaven Beach.

Places are limited and must be booked and paid for in advance.

Cost is £10 per child.

The Lifeguard club holds weekly sessions at Brinkburn CA on Saturdays from 9.30am until 11am, for those aged five to 11 and on Tuesdays, 7pm until 9pm for those aged 12 and over.

To book a place for the Rookie event, go to its Facebook page or call 0191 455 3819.