Bali lack­ing Bondi’s sav­ing grace

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Your Say -

RYAN ‘‘Whip­pet’’ Clark and Tom Bunt­ing have spent the past five years res­cu­ing swim­mers at Bondi Beach.

On this oc­ca­sion, how­ever, the boys are in Bali and they’re strug­gling.

A French­woman and her two sons are caught in one of Kuta’s fa­mous rips and as spec­ta­tors watch from the beach, the life­guards spring into action.

In Bali, they don’t have the sta­teof-the-art equip­ment usu­ally at their dis­posal in Syd­ney. There are no jet skis, pad­dle boards, spinal boards, oxy­gen tanks and mo­tor­bikes.

Bunt­ing, 27, who is study­ing to be­come a chi­ro­prac­tor, and for­mer Home and Away reg­u­lar Clarke, 24, take to the wa­ter with only a tube.

They face the tough­est res­cue con­di­tions of their ca­reers and, to add to the pres­sure, it’s all be­ing caught on film for Bondi Res­cue spin-off, Bondi Res­cue: Bali.

‘‘All the re­sources we as­so­ciate with pro­fes­sional life­guard­ing back at Bondi you don’t have here,’’ Bunt­ing says. ‘‘All you have is your two hands and your wits to ba­si­cally man­age the beach.’’

The pair, along with col­leagues Kris­tian Yates, An­thony Car­roll, An­drew Reid and Dean Glad­stone, are in Bali work­ing with their In­done­sian coun­ter­parts on an ex­change of skills and knowl­edge.

To pa­trol the 1km Bondi stretch the lads sit at a cen­tral con­trol tower. In Kuta, there are five posts spread along a 5km stretch of sand. Un­til re­cently, when the team used two mo­tor­bikes, it was a case of run­ning from post to post when some­one was in trou­ble.

‘‘I did a res­cue the other day and by the time I got there I had run 2km and I was beat,’’ Yates says.

‘‘The only rea­son we knew some­thing was go­ing on was be­cause we saw the cir­cle of death around the two girls who had drowned and been dragged in.

‘‘When the am­bu­lance came, it was noth­ing like back home. The best way to de­scribe it was like an ice cream truck.’’

Bali bathing: Bondi life­savers Ryan Clark and Tom Bunt­ing with Bali life­guard Mar­cello Lolot.

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