Hugh Jackman saves son, swimmers from riptide: ‘super dad, superhero’

Hugh Jackman attends the 'Eddie The Eagle' New York screening at Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas in NYC
Hugh Jackman is a real life hero after rescuing his 15 year-old son and other swimmers from a riptide that came in to Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia where both his 15-year-old son, Oscar, and 10-year-old daughter, Ava, where swimming at the time. There’s video of the incident (below) and it’s both impressive and eerily calm looking. Jackman and two other people in the water helped lead his children and other swimmers to the sandbar.

Australian TV Station 9 News has the story along with interviews with two people who were involved with the rescue efforts. (Jackman was too shaken to speak to the news afterwards, but he was extremely thankful to the lifeguards.) I highly recommend that you go to 9 News and watch the second eyewitness video. The personal trainer who helped Hugh get his daughter to shore is hot enough to score a guest spot on the Wolverine sequel. I couldn’t stop staring at the guy. Here’s what the eyewitnesses said. Oh and here’s the hot trainer, his name is Dan Conn.

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Hugh Jackman has thanked lifeguards who helped rescue his children from a rip at Bondi Beach yesterday.

The actor launched into action himself at the Sydney beach yesterday, when his 10-year-old daughter Ava and 15-year-old son Oscar became caught in a rip.

Swimmer Peter Adam lent a hand, grabbing Ava and then linking hands with Jackman to pull her to safety.

“His daughter was struggling to get on to the sand bar so I reached down, grabbed her arm and put my arm up to Hugh to make a chain to pull us up on the sand bar,” he said.

“That’s what you do with any family out there.”

Dan Conn said he helped drag the children to the sand bar, but Oscar was again carried out by the current.

“I think he was under a bit of pressure with the two kids at once but he was pretty cool, calm and collected, as Hugh always is I suppose,” he said.

Mr Conn said Jackman was “definitely a bit of a superdad, superhero, and he’s a super bloke too.”

Lifeguards and lifesavers then assisted, bringing the teenager to safety.

Bondi lifeguard Trent Falson said Jackman thanked him multiple times.

“He said you guys did an amazing job, I think he thanked me about three times on the way up the sand,” he said.


That sounds so scary, especially the part about how Oscar was pulled out to sea a second time. The video makes the whole thing look rather tame or like the people weren’t in too much danger, however I doubt that was the case. Riptides move quickly and can be extremely dangerous and there are many incidents of people drowning when trying to save swimmers caught in them. I remember seeing an episode of Oprah that described the process of drowning, and how to recognize the signs. It’s rare to see someone flail around, yell for help or make obvious signs. Here’s more on the signs of drowning, which include a person staring straight ahead, being quiet, and dipping below the water repeatedly. Anyway thankfully Jackman and others, including that extremely hot personal trainer, jumped into action and no one was hurt in this instance.

I’m conflicted about these celebrity hero stories, like when Jamie Foxx rescued a man trapped a burning vehicle outside his home. They’re so impressive, but people could have actually died if someone hadn’t risked their own life to intervene. I would expect nothing less from Jackman though, he’s incredible. My son jokingly asked if Jackman used his claws to pull the people out of the water.

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49 Responses to “Hugh Jackman saves son, swimmers from riptide: ‘super dad, superhero’”

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  1. Jane says:

    This is one of the many reasons why I just adore this man. He is a good man-inside and out.

  2. mkyarwood says:

    Great story on a dreary Monday! I like to think I would experience the adrenaline it takes to save my kids, or just throw myself in front of whatever was threatening them, should it come up. I’ve definitely yanked them out of thin air, during free fall, to avoid their doom a few times.

    • susanne says:

      Thank goodness my children have not been in danger like this. And I believe he would have done this for any of our kids.
      I do have those mama reflexes, though. I could snap out an arm without even realizing it to catch one of my babes from toppling off from wherever they had gotten to. Just one of my mama superpowers (and I know that I am not unique in this_).

    • swak says:

      Thank goodness for the momma reflexes. My grandson got staples in his head on one day and the next day he was at a restaurant on a stool, started to fall off on to his head and she somehow grabbed his shirt and pants and prevented him from hitting the floor.

  3. Alix says:

    Someone too shaken up to talk to the media? Will wonders never cease. Good on Jackman, though; I’m glad everyone is safe.

  4. Sam says:

    These are the types of stories that we need coming out of Hollywood. That’s all I’m going to say about this because if i say anything more than I take away from the story and I don’t want to do that. Good on you Hugh Jackman.

  5. Size Does Matter says:

    As if I needed another reason to love him.

  6. Tig says:

    So glad this had a happy ending. Rip
    currents are awful, and it’s amazing everyone realized what was happening so quickly and acted in time. There is a clip on YouTube of Hugh and Luke Evans having a “Gaston-off”, it is great! And agreed-what can’t Hugh do?

  7. Chloe says:

    Great job to Hugh and the lifeguards, I got caught in a riptide years ago and you literally have to just let it carry you sideways until you slowly work your way closer to land, it’s pretty scary.

    • Esmom says:

      Yikes. My kids and I know the drill, go over it whenever the water seems a little rough, but have never experienced a rip current. I always wonder if we’d remain calm enough to just let it carry us. Good for you, Chloe, I can imagine it was terrifying.

      And good for Hugh, although the other thing we always hear is to not try to rescue someone in a rip current, or risk more drownings. I don’t know how anyone could just stand there and watch their child struggle. Glad it worked out ok.

      • Chloe says:

        I tried to fight it at first but it’s impossible to swim forward, it drug me probably for a mile. Good job and teaching your kids how to handle it.

      • Snowflake says:

        What are you supposed to do to get out of it? I hear swim parallel to the shore till you get out of it?

    • Pinky says:

      The idea of this and possible drownings brings tears to my eyes. So glad you made it through. The panic is real and if you don’t know the drill (either tread water until it carries you back to shore or swim parallel to the shore until there is no current fighting you and you can come back in to the shore), then it’s a deadly situation. I knew some people who were swept out to sea. Their parents never recovered.


    • Crumpet says:

      As have I! My cousin and I in Mexico spent 20 minutes struggling our way out of a riptide. Thankfully we had a boogie board to hold on to, or we never would have made it. Strangely enough, our mothers just watched from the balcony of our house. If it were me, I would have been running up and down the beach like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Or swimming out myself to help.

    • kori says:

      My dad grew up spending summers at the Jersey shore and made sure we all knew the drill. I actually caught 2 of my friends in different incidents in riptides and pulled them in. Luckily we were still close to shore otherwise it would’ve been too risky. But panic is the main reason riptides kill–it’s natural instinct to fight against it and you tire so quickly.

    • Miffy says:

      I got caught in a riptide as a kid. It was horrible, I was 9, my little sister was 8, we were with our dad and we hadn’t realised we were standing on a sand bar til it was swept out from underneath us. I can’t imagine what my dad went through (he still can’t talk about it), he grabbed my little sister because she was closest but all he could do was watch me being swept away. I started panicking, screaming and going under and by the absolute grace of the universe there was a surfer near by who grabbed me and brought me back to shore.

      I know now the only thing to do is stay calm and tread water til you can get back to shore but it’s petrifying all the same.

  8. Nancy says:

    This story doesn’t surprise me at all. Wish it hadn’t happened but…..if there is one person in Hollywood I would name as a hero……even before the accident, it’s Hugh. He has such a cleansing, positive aura surrounding him. Wish men like his would run for office, but he appears too honest and righteous.

    • Crumpet says:

      I agree about his aura. I do think he is a truly lovely man. What a frightening experience that must have been for him.

  9. Esther says:

    “The personal trainer who helped Hugh get his daughter to shore is hot enough to score a guest spot on the Wolverine sequel”

    the hotness is the most important part of the story! how could you seriously write something like that in a story about it?

    by the way would you mention the sexiness of a female doctor who did a live saving surgery?

    go ahead and delete this post, its well known how this site reacts to criticism.

  10. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    What a nice thing. Very alert father there. I couldn’t tell anything from the video, but I know those rip tides are so dangerous and it doesn’t take long to become a real tragedy. Glad it all turned out.

  11. SydneySnider says:

    He’s a top bloke – the sort both men and women really like. Sadly, there have been so many incidents like this on our beaches this Summer, with some not ending as well. It’s been quite scary.

  12. CommentingBunny says:

    The mom in me is shaking. How terrifying.

    The feminist in me is wondering why the headline mentions Hugh’s son and lumps his daughter in with “other swimmers.”

    The straight woman in me is drooling over that personal trainer.

    • Lara says:

      I kinda agree but if you read the story his son got taken out again so was in extra danger.

  13. Insomniac says:

    Haha, I love your son’s comment! Glad everyone is safe; I know people who drowned after being carried off by riptides.

  14. Mia4s says:

    Hugh, remains amazing. No shock. Seriously though I’m so glad everyone is OK.

    This was a sudden and terrifying thing but on a related note I need to say this. I lived most of my life by the ocean; Those of you who just visit beaches (and don’t live the life) please please please always listen to locals and lifeguards on safe swimming. Yes I know you live on a lake, yes I know you won first place in the school swim meet, but I also know you have no idea of the true power of the ocean. I’ve seen one too many close calls (prevented one too) and heard of one too many tragic ending AFTER a warning. A little humility could save your life.

    • Snowflake says:

      Yes, I’ve lived near a beach area where one or two tourists would drown every year because they went in the ocean when there was a red flag out. Red flag in our area meant don’t go in the water. The ocean is a lot rougher than a lake.

  15. lucy2 says:

    Glad everyone is ok!
    Riptides are scary business. I live near the shore and whenever there’s a big storm they issue warnings, and inevitably there’s someone who ignores it and goes in, and gets into trouble. And sometimes it’s out of the blue and can really catch people off guard.

  16. HeyThere! says:

    Glad everyone is safe. The ocean can be a scary, powerful force!!!

    Now, omg holy cow that personal trainer is delicious!!!!!!!! Wow. Swoon, and I’m not the swooning type!!!! Ever!! The voice helps a lot too. He was already beautiful then he opens his mouth and I was speechless! Ha! My DH is gorgeous, too. I have good swoon worthy taste!!!!

  17. kri says:

    holy crap! Terrifying. Hugh, The Rock and The Trainer need to do some sort of film together. STAT. Maybe.”.Super Hero Swim Trunks” or something of that nature (for sure of that nature).

  18. Angelica says:

    Omg, this happened to me. Well, mild version. We were living in Schofield barracks and went swimming on the North Shore (beautiful, scenic beaches) and my 6 month old and I got hit by a little but strong wave that we didn’t see coming, although it’s hard to see them coming, they’re really out of nowhere sometimes, and to save her from getting pulled under, I stuck her in the air while I went under. I just reacted because my feet were sinking into the sand and while walking back and I knew I was gonna get hit. When I fell with my feet still buried in sand, she was still above water and my husband’s friend actually grabbed her, so I could regain my stance. We were fine, her face was still dry, and I was a mess but hey, no real harm and I realized how fickle the ocean is that day. Many, more experienced swimmers were pulled in and calmly led others ashore. Like I said, you don’t often see it coming and even the tough or graceful get thrown around in those scenarios.

  19. jc126 says:

    What a great guy! Great couple of guys, really.
    One of my first memories is being underwater after a boat I was in capsized. My dad dove in and rescued me,. I can still vividly see the view as I was completely submerged, it was scary.

  20. nicegirl says:

    So happy to hear all is well.

  21. Kelly says:

    It’s official, he can do everything: act, sing, dance, transform his body, and save lives. Next on the agenda, leap tall buildings with a single bound.

  22. Snowflake says:

    Thanks so much for the link to the article about drowning. I didn’t realize you can’t yell for help or wave. Good to know

  23. im one of those unexpected criers and I would have been like dead silent then walked up and thanked the life guard and burst into tears…. that seems like maybe what Hugh did….

  24. cari says:

    so not to downplay the whole thing, maybe I saw a different video, but was it really all that dramatic? in the video I saw, it didn’t even look like the kid was in danger???

    • Sarah says:

      It seems as though you don’t understand what a riptide is. Look it up. People die in them all the time

  25. claire says:

    I watch the Bondi Rescue episodes through youtube. That beach and those riptides are no joke!

  26. tw says:

    He’s the real deal.

  27. Amanda says:

    My aunt almost died when she got sucked out into a riptide when I was a kid and we were on a family vacation in Cancun. People should really pay more attention to how to stay safe in the ocean.

  28. serena says:

    Huhg must have been so scared :( thank god it ended well.