Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Controversy surrounds Bondi Rescue lifeguards

Controversy surrounds Bondi Rescue lifeguards
February 13, 2016

As it enters the filming of its 11th season, award winning Channel 10 show Bondi Rescue has been embroiled in a series of allegations published in mainstream media.

The show's stars, all professional lifeguards with Waverley Municipal Council, are reportedly facing a Council investigation into claims that the lifeguards received tens of thousands of dollars in payments from Red Bull and Mars.

Documents allege these payments, along with merchandise from Billabong and 2XU, was divided between the lifeguards, potentially in breach of the Council's code of conduct.

Leaked emails reported by the Mail Online show that Bondi Rescue is in turmoil with allegations of infighting, one drunken lifeguard being sent to rehabilitation and anger at the crew's leader for taking his wife to retrieve a dead body.

Stars of the show have also attacked chief lifeguard Bruce 'Hoppo' Hopkins' leadership - especially his decision to take his wife Stacey, who is not a lifeguard, on a jetski to retrieve a body.

In a letter to fellow lifeguards last March, which was seen by Sydney newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Hopkins wrote "this may have not been the absolute correct thing to do but I felt it was the best option at the time.

"This will be the last time I send a group email explaining myself on things, mostly my personal life."

Hopkins was also forced to defend himself against concerns about his business trips overseas and claims that he was receiving too many free tickets to sporting events.

In the letter he said that he had funded every trip and told his colleagues that the "schoolyard talk has to stop".

Bondi Rescue Producer Ben Davies revealed there was a clash between 'personalities' on the show, telling The Daily Telegraph "(Hoppo's) not there for the guys to love him, he's there to get the job done and if they don't like the way he runs it and he's the boss, they can always leave."

Lifeguards have also claimed there is a 'severe alcohol culture' in Bondi Rescue with one team member sent to rehab for three weeks after an incident at a hotel.

An inspection was carried out on the operation in September last year to ensure it was meeting the Council's drug and alcohol policy.

The Council is also investigating claims that of third-party deals, including that $10,000 from Red Bull was split between the lifeguards.

Responding to the allegations, a council spokeswoman stated "Waverley Council takes seriously any allegations of breaches of the Council Code of Conduct. These matters raised are being investigated."

Bondi Rescue image courtesy of Channel 10.



Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Abel Sports

INTRODUCTION Abel Sports is Australia’s leading manufacturer and suppliers of Goal Posts, sports ground safety netting systems and coaches boxes for Stadiums ,Sports Clubs, Councils and…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Venues


Felton Industries

Felton Industries is Australia’s leading designer, manufacturer and supplier of quality outdoor furniture and has been supplying premium seating solutions for all sporting, commercial, community…

read more

Parks / Play / Recreation / Sport / Venues



With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…

read more

Aquatics / Fitness / Recreation / Technology



Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks



Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness


The Pool Enclosure Company

Welcome to The Pool Enclosure Company (TPEC). We provide a large range of premium commercial and residential retractable swimming pool, spa and terrace enclosures throughout Australia, servicing…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Recreation / Venues



Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues


Aflex Inflatables

Aflex Inflatables are the leaders for obstacle courses, pool toys, waterparks and land-based watersides and fitness runs. They are industry leaders offering the widest range of pool, lake and beach…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business