Bondi rescuer loves his ink
Life’s a beach for Trent ‘ Maxi’ Maxwell, writes
Growing up on Sydney’s Maroubra Beach, becoming a lifeguard was a natural progression for Bondi Rescue’s Trent ‘ Maxi’ Maxwell.
‘‘ When I was 12 I did the surf lifesaving nippers and all that stuff,’’ he said.
‘‘ I got into surfing and started hanging around with the surfy crowd at 13 or 14, then started lifesaving properly at 15.’’ Maxi, now 19, also got his first tattoo at 15. ‘‘ I got my first taste of ink in Bali when I was 15 – my parents were really cool and consented to it,’’ he said. ‘‘ That was the Southern Cross on my chest. ‘‘ I’ve also got ‘ Life’s a Beach’ across my lower back, it’s kinda girly I guess, having a tramp stamp, but I like it.
‘‘ I’ve had one foot basically covered in ink, it says ‘ live to surf’ and has waves and palm trees and stuff up to my ankle.
‘‘ When I was in Florida recently I got the Japanese symbol for water inside my right bicep, and at the end of the season I’m going to get the tatt on my pelvic bone fixed up – it’s another girlie tatt and another one from Bali, so the ink is kinda faded and it needs a touch-up.’’
Maxi went to the States last year, for a working holiday of sorts.
‘‘ All my life I’ve wanted to be a fire fighter,’’ Maxi said.
‘‘ I see lifeguarding as a bit of a stepping stone into that, and when I went to the States from May to August last year I went with the intention of being a lifeguard.
‘‘ Their lifeguards are actually with the fire department over there, so I hit them up and got to go out on the truck with them and basically became their general dogsbody or, in brackets, ‘ little bitch’.
‘‘ We went out to a few heavy calls while I was working with them, there were a couple of car accidents and that sort of thing, that was pretty hardcore.’’ Maxi said two things make for a good lifeguard. ‘‘ Being able to watch and read the water all the time, and always being confident,’’ he said.
‘‘ As lifeguards, we’re different to lifesavers, which people tend to get confused by.
‘‘ Lifesavers are part-time volunteers on the beach, whereas lifeguards are employed in a professional capacity and work every day.
‘‘ We’re also trained to work with the ambos and police.’’
Maxi said his confidence on the job didn’t automatically translate off the job.
‘‘ I’ve always kept a level head, I’m just a lifeguard with a passion for what I do,’’ he said.
‘‘ With the film crews ( for Bondi Rescue) on the beach they’re just coming to see what we do every day, whether there’s a camera there or not.’’ And the girls? ‘‘ When I’m on the job I’m totally focussed on what I’m there to do,’’ he said.
‘‘ Off the beach, yeah, there might be some extra attention from girls, because we’re on TV or
whatever, but I tend to just hang out with the guys and not really pay any attention to it.’’
Maxi said his most memorable rescue can be seen on this week’s episode of
‘‘ Around five or six weeks ago, I came across this guy on a jetski who was facedown and not moving,’’ he said.
‘‘ When I looked at him, his eyes were open, he was blue, he was lifeless.
‘‘ I dragged him up and started resus, and finally after about the fifth cycle of CPR, we had the defib on him and he just came back to us.
‘‘ Five days later he came down to say thanks.’’
Maxi said a highlight of the show was meeting his childhood namesake.