Maska’s Bondi Adventure

When the Nauru Lifeguard service was inaugurated in October 2012 it’s fairly safe to say that its members never expected to have to deal with large crowds. After all, this Pacific Island nation boasts a population of slightly less than 10 000.

That all changed when two young lifeguards from The Republic of Nauru took a trip to Australia during the summer.

Maska Hubert and Ollimac Scotty arrived in the country in December 2014. After spending time travelling along the eastern seaboard the opportunity arose for the duo to visit Palm Beach Currumbin SLCS in Queensland. They had a great time touring the club’s facilities, inspecting the beach, and seeing how volunteer lifesavers operate during a weekend’s patrol.

But much more was to come for Hubert when he was given the chance to patrol Sydney’s busiest beach alongside members of Bondi Beach Surf Bathers Club on January 17.

Club Captain James Roger and Patrol Captain Roger Butler were on hand to help guide this rookie patrolman as he made history becoming the first from his country to patrol Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach.

He spent some time on the water’s edge, learned how the ATV and IRB vehicles operate, and observed some of the techniques that volunteer lifesavers in Australia need to become familiar with.

On this particular day there were an estimated 20 000 visitors on the shoreline, but Huber was undaunted, confidently handling the large crowds and unfamiliar environment during his 5-hour stint.

“Thanks everyone for supporting me all the way through, without your support I couldn't make it this far. God be the Glory." Maska Hubert said on social media following his time at Bondi Beach.

During their time in Australia both men were exposed to the skills and techniques developed over a century of lifesaving, and both have expressed a keen desire to teach others what they have learned, thereby strengthening the lifesaving movement in their homeland.

Photograph: Maska Hubert on patrol at a crowded Bondi Beach.

Tue 24 Mar 2015