Despite the rise in pills and party drugs, there are less substance-abuse problems at Bondi now than in the past.
Hoppo can't remember the last time he attended an overdose situation."In the 80s there was a lot of heroin in Kings Cross so there were more needles on the beach," he says." You never see that anymore."Hoppo says people often get into trouble because they start off swimming between the flags, don't look back and end up drifting."You need to maintain eye contact with the beach constantly," he says.
Chappo says shark alarms and attacks are a rarity but he happily recounts the tale of a man who in 2007 put his arm through a pane of glass but claimed he had been attacked by a shark - the first at the beach in 70 years.
The man's story made headlines worldwide but also saw him arrested on outstanding charges.
Hoppo, a full-timer, has been Bondi's head lifeguard for a decade.
He says the modern lifeguard's job is as much about beach management and keeping a lid on antisocial behaviour (and nudity) as rescuing people in distress.
I remember when the surf club was not even there."You're in safe hands if you keel over on Bondi or even at a nearby restaurant, with a portable defibrillator on hand with assorted resuscitation equipment.
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With Bondi Rescue screening in 55 countries, Chappo says he gets recognised by tourists all the time."God love them, those Swedish girls. Hoppo's beating them off with a stick."One of the biggest problems at Bondi is tourists who don't speak English and can't swim - a potentially fatal combination.
Of about 2500 rescues each year, 85 per cent are of non-locals and tourists.
He says TV fans often go to Palm Beach hoping to see someone from Home and Away and then come to Bondi where they're guaranteed to see someone from Bondi Rescue.
"We're always good for a photo or sometimes a ride on the bike," says Chappo, who reassures me during a speedy ride in one of their three rhinos that he has never run over anyone."No other show has people that are so accessible to the public, you know you can turn up and one of us will be here and you'll see something," says Hoppo, real name Bruce Hopkins.