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Forget The Rock — these two guys are the real Baywatch

No, they don’t run in slo-mo. Confessions from two real lifeguards.

It’s a blazing hot weekday morning at Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong’s gorgeous rooftop infinity pool, and lifeguards Edward and Hafiz are both in their element. The duo — colleagues and pals stationed at the OCBC Aquatic Centre at the Singapore Sports Hub — have gamely agreed to do our Baywatch-themed Shirtless Guy of the Week shoot (in red shorts, no less) in the spirit of the upcoming movie remake. But only one of them is nicknamed ‘Hasselhoff’.

Baewatch: Edward Ng and Muhammad Hafiz Bin Jasni are ready to save your life. 

8 DAYS: Time to ’fess up: did you ever have a Pamela Anderson poster on your bedroom wall?
EDWARD NG: Nope, though I’m pretty sure my guy friends did, even if they didn’t tell me (laughs). I still remember watching David Hasselhoff and Carmen Electra on TV.
MUHAMMAD HAFIZ BIN JASNI: I was too young when the original TV show was at the height of its popularity, and my folks are religious so they wouldn’t have let me put up her [racy] poster!

What made you want to be a lifeguard?
Hafiz: I’ve been a lifeguard for nine years, since I was 16. Back then, I studied sports management in school, and wanted a cool part-time job to brag about. But it’s a physically demanding job. I have to perfect my rescue techniques, and sometimes I have to rescue people twice my weight.
Edward: I was a DJ at Zouk, but I left the job to take care of my mum ’cos her health wasn’t so good. After she got better, I needed a job and came by an opening for a lifeguard. I’ve always been into fitness, so my ex-colleagues weren’t surprised when I took the job. People call me ‘Edward Hasselhoff’ now!

What are your pet peeves as lifeguards?
Both: (Without hesitation) We are not babysitters!
Edward: I watch the kids’ pool at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, and have seen couples who let their kids run around unsupervised or are busy taking photos while the children are in the pool. As lifeguards, we have to be extra vigilant, and be within arm’s length reach of people in the water.

What's your most harrowing rescue story? 
Hafiz: I was on lifeguard duty at a kayak race, and had to rescue a kayak that capsized at my station. It turned out the people on the kayak got into trouble ’cos they got muscle cramps, and one of them had a too-heavy breakfast and felt sick. Please, don’t ignore safety precautions!

PHOTO: EALBERT HO

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