How Realistic Is ‘Baywatch’?

Slate recently asked Ocean Rescue Lt. Jim McCrady of Fort Lauderdale to use his 31 years of lifeguarding experience to assess the authenticity of the new Baywatch movie starring Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron.

“It was disappointing,” he said, “only because there are so many inaccuracies with respect to our profession. Even the terminology they used—they used the word rip tide instead of rip current, which was kind of disappointing for me. And there was a scene where the lifeguards basically abandoned their posts to do some crime-fighting. As a professional lifeguard watching this, I’m always concerned about the image of lifeguards that the general public has, and that’s something we’ve been battling for decades, the idea that we’re 15-year-old kids out there doing a summer job, trying to pick up girls with sunblock on our noses.”

He went on, “If you know anything about the industry, it’s primarily—especially in Florida and Hawaii and a lot of California—a year-round, full-time profession. So you see that kind of stuff and you cringe and you hope the audience takes it as a joke, but at the same time it would have been very easy for them to have hired some subject-matter experts and rectified some of those inconsistencies.”

Read more at Slate.

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