Italian lifeguard to the rescue for Bondi television series
MARIO Marfella has come a long way from patrolling the Coast's southern beaches.
The former Sunshine Coast lifeguard has landed a job at Bondi Beach and is now part of the popular TV show Bondi Rescue.
Mario will make his small screen debut in season 10 of Network 10's Aussie reality show, which kicks off on Tuesday.
"It was always my dream to work in Bondi," he said.
"The difference between the beaches is it is less busy on the Sunshine Coast.
"Things still happen (while on patrol), but it is not so fast like it is here (Bondi).
"We work much more as a team here than at other beaches. I love it and the team has made me feel so welcome."
Mario, 33, is Bondi's first Italian lifeguard and he is making his presence known.
Originally a coffee machine technician from Rome, Mario moved to Australia eight years ago and has spent the past four trying to get one of the much sought-after lifeguard positions on Bondi Beach.
Mario attended the Waverley Lifeguard Academy in 2009, and then worked on the Sunshine Coast between Mooloolaba and Caloundra from 2012. He lived in Kawana for two years.
In just a few weeks at Bondi, Mario has impressed big boss Hoppo and been made a full-time lifeguard.
As Mario settles into life on Bondi Beach, the joker's Italian heritage is always apparent. He was once even spotted ordering a pizza to the lifeguard tower. But one concern remains: will beachgoers understand him on the megaphone with his thick but charming accent?
"I began surfing in Rome when I was 15. And I spent summers lifeguarding in Rome as well as Sardinia.
"There's not much surf in Italy. Here the waves are much more powerful and dangerous, and the crowds are much bigger.
"Bondi has much more duties. We are lifeguards, rangers and policemen."
Bondi Rescue Season 10 returns Tuesday, March 17.