Move over Baywatch, here comes Durban

Umhlanga lifeguard MJ Mkhize in action

An inside look of what it is like to carry the responsibility of saving troubled swimmers, many actionpacked sea rescues and a battle with unpredictable weather conditions.

It sounds like a reality show? That’s because it is.

The locally produced 12-part reality series, Durban Beach Rescue, aired on the Travel Channel (DStv 179) in July 2014 and the second season will premiere in November this year.

The action-packed show is set in Durban during the busiest time of the year – the December holiday season.

The series shows the day-to-day experiences of eight lifeguards who risk their lives to keep millions of holidaymakers safe.

Executive producer Bronwyn Berry said that in the second season the content of the series will focus less on the overwhelming crowds of people on the beaches and more on the holiday makers having the time of their lives under the watchful eye of the lifeguards.

Travel channel lunch (Medium)

Six out of the eight lifeguards that are followed in the Durban Beach Rescue series, Clint van der Merwe, Sue-ellen Martin, Sihle Xaba, MJ Mkhize, Tammy Montgomery and Cameron Coleman

“Although the theme of danger vs safety runs throughout the series, the tone of the show is fun and friendly, seeking out the moments of lightness and warmth as characters work together night and day as a united team. The show reflects a diverse, new Africa. A South Africa where a middle aged Dutch tourist group and thousands of local beachgoers can co-exist on the same beach,” said Berry.

Season two of Durban Beach Rescues will cover the work experience of lifeguards from beaches that include Umhlanga, uShaka and even Ballito. Senior lifeguard Sihle Xaba said that his mission for the season is to have a record of zero drownings and he will do everything in his power to make this a reality.

“I have been on the Durban beachfront for the past 18 years and my plan to have no drownings in season two involves motivating and training the other lifeguards to be in the water for hours at a time, maintaining strict preventative measures to keep the bathers within the bathing area,” he said.

Season two is promised to be high drama with fast paced, real-life action. On the busy days, five cameras, six GoPros, an underwater camera and a drone were used.

>>> Need some ideas for things to do? Check out Holiday Vibes.

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Erica Abrahams

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