Growing up, Tyson was never too far from the beach and at a young age, his grandparents taught him how to swim and surf.
“They all had surf lifesaving backgrounds,” he told 10 play, “they took me to surf competitions which eventually led me to become a lifeguard through a school program. Ever since I was 18, straight out of school, I’ve lifeguarded since.”
Working at Maroubra beach for five years, Tyson made the move to Bondi.
“I was up for more of a challenge… getting experience on the whole Eastern Suburbs coast lifeguarding,” he said.
With a passion for educating beachgoers on surf safety, Tyson’s first season at Bondi was obviously very different to usual with the pandemic restricting numbers of crowds as well as how the lifeguards were able to interact with beach users and each other.
Rather than all working together, the team were split into small pods to limit cross-contamination. While it took some getting used to, having known a few of the lifeguards meant Tyson’s adjustment to the new team was pretty easy.
“I felt like I did transition quite well, I had that experience in Maroubra and both management strategies were effective, it’s good. A new challenge for me… and we all work well together, we had quite a successful season so I’m happy with that.”
Bondi isn’t the biggest change for Tyson who, a few years ago, did an exchange where he worked in Denmark for a season.
“They have one service for the whole country so I drove across the whole country — it was a four-hour drive,” he said, laughing. “I worked throughout the whole west coast and east coast starting from Copenhagen.”
While he’s now working one of Australia’s busiest beaches, Tyson said Denmark wasn’t too different from working back home.
“You’ve got some busy beaches, the water’s a lot colder in some areas. You have more wind-swells and the waves were a lot smaller than around this area,” he said. “There were a couple of rescues but nothing too sinister!”
Though he’s been lifeguarding for years, one thing that Tyson hasn’t prepared for as much is seeing himself on the TV.
“I’m a bit nervous to be honest,” he said, laughing. “My mates and family are all keen to see it and are wanting to watch with us so I’ll have to stay tuned!”
Catch Tyson and the rest of the Bondi Rescue lifeguards Thursdays at 7.30 on 10 and 10 play or watch episodes on demand on 10 play