One of a parent’s worst nightmares is watching one of their children struggle to stay safe. Thankfully, this is something that does not happen frequently, but action star Hugh Jackman was ready to rescue his teenage son, Oscar, daughter, Ava, and several others when a rip hit Sydney’s Bondi Beach.
According to 9 News, swimmer Peter Adam was nearby when Jackman realized that his children were caught in a riptide at the beach. Popular Mechanics defines a riptide as “long, narrow bands of water that quickly pull any objects in them away from shore and out to sea.” They can be quite dangerous and even fatal, but they are easy to escape if the swimmer remains calm.
“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,” Adam said of the efforts to rescue Jackman’s children.
According to Daily Mail, Jackman’s conduct throughout the rescue efforts were described as “calm,” but the actor was too shaken after the incident to speak with the media. A publicist for Jackman said later that “It wasn’t nearly as dramatic as it looks.”
Jackman thanked lifeguards later for their efforts to rescue his children and others that had gotten caught in the riptide.
— Nine News Australia (@9NewsAUS) March 27, 2016
Reports indicate that Jackman had only just returned to town Friday after a promotional tour of his newest movie, Eddie the Eagle, and that Jackman often takes his kids to Bondi Beach when he’s in town. The Mirror reported that Jackman is also seen in the video that was taken, beckoning other swimmers to try and aid those that were caught in the riptide.
Swimmer Dan Conn, who was also at Bondi Beach during Jackman’s rescue efforts, said that the real-life hero may have had a lot going on with both his children struggling with the riptide, but added that Jackman remained calm throughout the experience.
“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.
Conn also said that Jackman, who regularly plays superhero Wolverine in both the X-Men franchise in addition to the Wolverine films that have continued to delight audiences, seemed something like a superhero in real life as well.
Jackman was definitely a “definitely a bit of a superdad, superhero, and he’s a super bloke too,” Conn said.
Jackman and his family have since flown to Melbourne in the wake of the riptide incident, and Bondi Beach remains closed following the riptide. While no one was reported seriously injured following the riptide, Jackman ensured he thanked the lifeguards for their efforts multiple times.
— E! Online (@eonline) March 26, 2016
Trent Falson, a lifeguard at Bondi Beach, said that Jackman was very appreciative of the Bondi Beach lifeguards’ efforts in the wake of the riptides. Lifeguards were pulling people free with jet skis and surfboards while Jackman did his best to clear his children from the rip and encourage other swimmers to either swim clear of the rip or to help others.
“He said you guys did an amazing job, I think he thanked me about three times on the way up the sand,” Falson said of Jackman’s attitude following the incident.
Jackman’s current flick, Eddie the Eagle, has made a modest $15 million in domestic box office. According to Box Office Mojo, the movie ranks No. 7 out of all Olympic movies to date.
[Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images]