Bondi Rescue star dies after battle with cancer: 'Devastating loss'

Beloved Bondi Rescue lifeguard Terry McDermott has passed away after a long battle with cancer.

The official Bondi Lifeguards Instagram account announced the sad news on Friday evening and described Terry as “one of nicest watermen to don a jersey”.

Bondi Rescue star Terry McDermott
Bondi Rescue star Terry McDermott has passed away after a long battle with cancer. Photo: Instagram/bondilifeguards

“This selfless man saved countless lives during his career spanning more than 30 years working at many different beaches,” they wrote in the emotional tribute.

“Terry, Tezzy, T-Mac, Moondoggy McDermott. Thank you for your service to the community. Rest easy great man.”


Terry worked as a lifeguard on the Central Coast for 20 years and patrolled the world-famous Bondi Beach for another decade.

He starred in a number of seasons of Channel Ten’s Logie-award-winning series Bondi Rescue and also appeared as mission chief on the show’s short-lived spin-off, Bondi Rescue: Bali.

Terry is survived by his wife Joana and son Matt.

Bondi Rescue star Terry McDermott and his wife Joana
Terry is survived by his wife Joana and son Matt. Photo: Instagram/lifeguardterry

‘Devastating loss’

A number of people have since taken to social media to share tributes to the veteran lifeguard, with Bondi Rescue’s narrator Osher Günsberg saying the news is “so sad”.

“He was the kindest human, with so much love for the community,” he added. “Big love to the team.”

“Devastating loss to everyone who knew him. Love ya Tez,” fellow lifeguard Ryan ‘Whippet’ Clark wrote, while Andrew ‘Reidy’ Reid said, “Loved my in-depth chats about life with T-Mac”.

“Oh no, this is horrible news,” one fan wrote. “Terry came across on screen as a gentle person who cared about others and had great emotional intelligence. He was always there to welcome the new lifeguards into the life and took them under his wing. The world is poorer without him. Rest easy Terry.”

“My deepest condolences and sympathy to the family and friends,” someone else shared. “You will be forever remembered Terry for being selfless. For caring [for] others especially when you went to Bali. I saw how people and colleagues loved, respected and appreciated you.”

“Will never forget the episode where he saved a very young girl, and then broke down when speaking about how he lost his own child,” a different user replied. “I hope you’re both together peacefully, looking out into the ocean and admiring how beautiful it is. RIP legend.”

Terry’s final Instagram post

Terry’s final Instagram post was a video of himself with a new friend he had met in the Prince of Wales cancer ward in April.

“Both Dave and I have found the answer to cancer and it’s singing and laughing,” he wrote in the caption.

The pair sang a number of songs while awaiting chemotherapy before Terry cheerfully exclaimed, “Cancer can’t get us, we’re too happy!”.

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