Baba Marino is among local lifeguards featured in "Beach Patrol."
Rescue, crime and action wash up on ‘Beach Patrol’
Despite its scenic aerial shots of Oahu, "Beach Patrol: Honolulu" probably won't make the cut for the Hawaii Tourism Authority's next promotional in-flight video. The half-hour show, featuring dramatic voice-over and rapid-fire shots, follows Hawaii lifeguards, police officers, paramedics and firefighters as they manage the less attractive side of our beaches -- a place that's "not always paradise," according to the show's rather dazzling opening sequence.
"Beach Patrol: Honolulu" premieres tonight at 9 p.m. on Court TV.
In the first episode tonight, there's one "drunken daredevil" who nearly drowns off Spitting Caves, another (not drunk, just stupid) who gets pounded in the surf at Sandy Beach, a teen drug bust, a tsunami warning, and some barely disguised vomiting after a rescue in Waikiki, where there appears to be no surf at all.
The content is real, though, as the show obscures victims' faces in almost all of the scenes. And the lifeguards look competent, strong and responsible, which could be the best selling point of all to Court TV's 88 million viewers. The show highlights local lifeguards Baba Marino, Dave Loganbill, Julian Bosgra, Dustin Morris, Bryan Phillips, Tony Ho, James Sloane, Dustin Morris, Dave Skudin, Peter Erwin and Matthew Lamke -- all of whom represent Hawaii impressively.
For veteran beachgoers, there might be a sense that the drama associated with some of the incidents is escalated to a much higher level than they might deserve, but that's TV. (Furthermore, if you are watching from Kansas, it might look as frightening as a tornado would appear to us.) There's also plenty of exciting footage to keep the half-hour moving, and hearing from the lifeguards adds color and underscores the content with a sense of place, especially following rescues.
"It never fails," said Ho after the Spitting Caves recovery. "Guys always come out here, get all bus' up, jump in there, and then they can't get out. We've had a couple lives lost just because of that."
Overall, it's an interesting, worthwhile show that reveals how little glamour is associated with the challenging task of guarding this island's beaches.