The Lifeguard © A European Story




Based On Real Events.
The names, locations, rescues, recoveries, references to governments and law enforcement, organizations, companies, real persons, friends and family have been changed to protect the innocent, their privacy, anonymity, including any past or open, inquires & investigations that may be pending.



We all know there is no single hero in this service. A life saved from a single action or reaction begins from those who trained us and hard sobering experience. It takes a network of teams we work with ambulances, hospitals, air rescue, law enforcement, and the army of volunteers we call in as needed. Our existence is due to government budgets and planning allocated for us to serve. The same government bureaucracy we love to complain about, limited budgets, restrictions, laws, rules, regulations, liabilities and yet we co-exist because of them.  

We are a professional public service, not for everyone, yet a service for everyone. A mission of duty and honour that’s instilled in our souls.     

Passion, skill, care, measured and weighed in raw life successes large and small. We dwell in afterthought, sometimes torment, of what could we have done better or done I make the right decision? 

Sometimes we live with the weight that we can’t save them all. 

In those rescue moments, we exist in a zone, a dimension of millimetres and milliseconds where space and time are stretched.

Every breath is so precious. 

Recovery operations are peaceful and final. 

Long shifts, days blur into nights, nights blur into days.

It’s our recovery as rescuers and first responders that is the most difficult, we keep to ourselves. 

We all need to be rescued at some point.

My prayers are with you all. 


Dedicated too, and inspired by the Lifeguard’s wife.

The master at rescuing her man’s soul.
To find passion, love and life as to what you’re really good at, is always inspired. And I have been.
Thank you, my Angel, I always believed it was true. There were times it took time to really see you. You taught me so much. You stood by me in those days when I was blind. Helped me stand up again and point me in the right direction. I learned how to play again. It’s only you that sees and knows, I’m only a simple boy trapped in a man’s body. And every day in love with you.   
I have been blessed in more ways I could ever imagine.


When demons of the past wash up dead on the beach
It's a calling to rescue the souls in the present day.

The Lifeguard is a developing story slated for publication in Q4 of 2021. Inquires for a short version, pitch deck, are available. Only for legitimate, professional publishers, reputable agents, and established media organizations.  


The Lifeguard Station:

Captain of the Lifeguards and water rescue services is always the first in.  It’s the same, more or less, every day. Just the way he likes it. The old WWII story watch station warehouse with big bay windows. It’s an active job with just enough excitement, changes in the weather, the same smell in the Lifeguard station, same crap coffee machine that moans, groans, vibrates and leaks likes it’s the last breath with every grind of the beans. The grit of fine sand on the rescue station floor that never goes away no matter how much it’s cleaned. Daily Lifeguard reports printed out, piled up on the desk from the day before from around the Islands, slightly wrinkled, fingerprint smudges and coffee stains. 


The monotone beep of online notifications loading up on the computer screens from the police, rescue services, coast guard, satellite weather live stream and forecast and a steady government paycheck that pays the bills. Its good work, a satisfying public service career.



Dirk Jennings, or “DJ” the nickname that stuck with him for life. Captain of the Lifeguards and Chief of the water rescue services for just over 10 years. Thanks to his best mate from the SAS, the Malta Police Chief Constable, a born and bred Maltese-Brit, that convinced DJ’s wife, this is the job for him. Thinking back it saved his soul from the rat race he was locked into.

The past is the past. A former Life Guard on the South Coast of England, Royal Marine, a decorated SAS officer with 8 years of service, wounded three times in action, third-time wheelchair-bound for almost a year. Rehabilitation, the endless bureaucracy fighting for government benefits, back to university and working a bland boring bank internship to arise as a top International London wealth management- Private Banker, only to be thwarted by the fall out of the financial crises, new bank regulations, private clients with exposed dark backgrounds that used to be papered over by bank compliance officers and rated as VIP customers. 

It all capsized. Name brand banks that denied everything blaming their market traders and private bankers for tainted accounts, stock trades and deals the banks approved. 

Government bailouts, downsizing, mergers - acquisitions. The aftermath of regulator inquires, lawsuits, criminal investigations, legal fees, license suspensions, their only child that died from some strange staph infection contracted in hospital, another miscarriage and then the depression, alcohol and drugs. Those dark days are over now...

Malta is now fully compliant with EU international banking laws. There might be a few old school money managers that DJ recognizes from the old days that are slow to change. But they’re on the extinction list like the dinosaurs……………… It’s a new world now. 

Malta, the beautiful Mediterranean archipelago that has preserved thousands of years of history, architecture, art, traditions, legends and folklore. Tourist hot spot and laid back international business centre.  

There are three things DJ loves every day; the wife that saved his soul, his best mate Police Chief Ryan that saved his life and his job. 

DJ’s best mate Chief Constable Ryan, saved his life several times in combat on clandestine missions in some of the worst and cursed places on earth. The two have to team up again for a Maltese rescue of a different sort. Chief Ryan and a few handpicked trusted Police officers and Lifeguards will learn from DJ and Ryan to operate stealth, undercover and will be forced to work out of the box, at times bending the law and risking their lives as they all band together to confront an evil, not of their world trying to establish its self on their shores of the beautiful Mediterranean Archipelago.


DJ’s pedigree is a fourth-generation Seaman, a lineage of Navy, Coast Guard and Merchant Navy.

Most middle-aged men will boast about what they did, where they have been, who they know and revel about the good ol’ days gone bye. For DJ it’s all about the comeback story, not the past. And now it’s about quality of life, love, staying fit and doing what he loves to do. Back to the basics, back to his roots.  

“A man of the sea I was meant to be and the sea will always be in me”.  

The motto of his forefathers, the motto when he was a young Lifeguard in South England and the motto now.



DJ’s world that he loves is about to cross paths with his past by mere chance in the early dawn morning when two bodies wash up on the rugged Maltese Coastline. No signs of visible trauma, DJ and Chief Ryan immediately notice the victims are professionally trained up fit, outfitted in military-grade open water commando swim kit lite gear, with all the high tech gadgets, GPS, night vision, waterproof encrypted radios, cash, pirated sim cards, portable fold-out drone, satellite phones, a change of expensive designer casual clothes sealed in plastic with the Royal Yacht Club


Later DJ’s Lifeguards find a neoprene bag washed up on a beach with a small sample of something extremely valuable, untraceable that can be deposited in any bank, traded or loaned against.

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During the dawn recovery as the police officers scan the coastline for clues in the dawn light, as bodies are being loaded in the ambulance, instinct directs DJ to turn his binoculars away from the water to the plush villas on the hillside overlooking the cliffs and pristine clear water where just for a second he sees a long nautical telescope looking back at him and the recovery operations and then a shadowy figure folds it up and disappears behind the shadows of the well-manicured garden hedges. 

It becomes clear the two victims were dropped off from a passing cargo ship at night.

On closer inspection of the bodies, DJ and Chief Ryan notice a faded tattoo on the inside arm of one of the victims. Later, post autopsy, the tattoo is digitally enhanced; it appears to be the insignia from India- Special Forces. An insignia long forgotten by the two best friends. A past connection to their clandestine Military operations. A link to one of their former key counterintelligence assets that would be better off forgotten.

Questions and clues start unfolding a dark picture…

Why and how did the professional swimmers drown?

Who’s watching them?

Could it be a connection to one of their past brutal counterintelligence sources that were involved in war crimes and profited from conflict in some of the most godforsaken parts of the world?

Is there a connection to their former Commanding officer that he never disclosed or maybe tried to communicate before his recent death?

Or could it be a clue to one of DJ’s notorious former private banking clients?

Is it all connected?

Why the Island nation of Malta?

The Resurrection of Deep-Sea Ghost, as the two best mates call it.










Climate change, migration, refugees, pollution, pirates, smugglers of every kind, unruly careless tourist of every sort. All real-world issues, modern-day situations the region has to deal with.


Real rescues that will shock you, surprise you, bring a tear to your eye, and a rare glimpse into the post-traumatic stress syndrome that first responders never talk about and how they deal with it.

Rescues of love.  Professionals risking it all. Pushing the limits of their own lives, all in, and those who die trying to save others. 

Cold soul rescues. The ones that are being saved will actually try to drown the rescuer out of sheer panic. On multi victim rescues, the Lifeguard has to decide who lives and who gets left behind. 

Rescues of the soul; DJ’s recovery, his team's recovery as they lose a few of their own and not every rescue is perfect. Sometimes the new rookies have to learn the hard way.

A matrix of events that will force DJ to search the deepest parts of his soul and resurrect his brutal survival skills from the past using what he learned in the military, the business world, Lifeguard experience, counterintelligence in a new world reshaped by new rules and a new life while leading a professional Lifeguard Team in a Mediterranean paradise with real-world issues.




DJ leads a team of twenty fulltime, year around Lifeguards for the Island Nation. To qualify for the Nations Sea Rescue teams as a Full-Timer, Aka; The (A-Team) has to pass a gruelling military-style test for fitness, certified rescue swimmer, classes, in theory, equipment training, crowd conflict and de-escalation, boat certification, helicopter rescue training, marine environment classes and all of them are certified Paramedics and on the job work experience counts. 

The Lifeguard qualification course DJ has created for Malta is famous all over Europe and then some. Other countries, militaries, Police and other international rescue services will pay to send their Lifeguards and rescue staff to pass the course. It’s legendary and you’re part of a legend if you can qualify. 

The (A-Team) elite Malta Lifeguards-Rescuers are awarded and the only ones allowed wearing the coveted rescue Trident-Maltese Cross insignia. The entire Island nation knows any man or woman with this insignia on their uniform and kit is the best of the best. And they have to keep fit, gym passes are included, mandatory swimming time, free diving test are all part of the on the drill, on the job. Even the local shops, eateries and taxi services will comp a member of the teams when in uniform (on duty) with the prestigious Maltese Cross Rescue Trident.

During the high season the rescue staff number doubles and more, with part-timers (seasonal) and Lifeguard volunteers and Jr. Lifeguards from the water rescue association are recruited as needed during peak season. For the basic qualified part-timers, Jr. Life Guard and rescue volunteers, if they hang in there, a season or more, schools and the University education system will give them on the job training work credit towards graduation. If the rookies can survive a full season with DJ’s team, they can put it on their CV (resume) with a stellar letter of recommendation. Every employer knows; if you cut it with DJ and the crew, you’re employable. As a result, there’s no shortage of young people trying out, full time, part-time or volunteers. It’s how to keep the top certified Pro’s and experience that counts. 


DJ’s summary on this; “I’m surrounded by political agendas, bar room critics, social media rescue experts, wanna-be’s, and parents trying to push their youngsters in the system for social status reasons. It’s like there are them and us. Inspiration comes from the rescue team, not overzealous parents and critics in the background who have never done it nor never tried.  

The Back Office

DJ gives credit to the back office. As head of the National Sea Rescue and Lifeguard Captain DJ is on the front lines every day. But it won’t work without the back-office staff of colourful characters that manage the bureaucracy, budgets, endless paperwork, lobby the politics, procure equipment from the most unlikely of sources and have connections from the Parliament, sanitation union workers, police, military, financial institutions,  public utilities, casinos, Posh Yacht Clubs and even a notorious biker club who back up DJ and his lifeguards in an odd, unofficial alliance, as one rescue is bonded by another in a silent code of honour. 

Officially DJ has “No Comment” on how this works. But he does issue a cautionary advisory to his Lifeguard team. “Please do not attend any back-office parties for safety reasons”.


Go-Deep Live-It Feel-It:

DJ’s rescue of the soul is centred on his wife and best mate Police Chief and a few good Maltese friends and DJ’s core Lifeguard team that believe in the greater good and honour of the Island nation. Salvation and survivability will come from a deeply ingrained set of values in Maltese culture that few know or see but the clues to the Islands honour, loyalty and perseverance are enshrined in the country’s flag that is commonly overlooked and taken for granted. The story exposes true grit, human qualities of fortitude, integrity, tenacity, loyalty. Average people arising to the occasion and doing extraordinary services, beyond the call of duty

Moving Story Line:

The storyline moves as DJ leads the team in charge of the coastal safety of an Island known for finance, posh yachts, designer fashion, tourist party scene, pristine natural surroundings, international film destination and thousands of years of Mediterranean history and several million tourists a year. Or as the Lifeguards say; “we rescue them all, the good, the bad, the ugly and the stupid”.

Even though some of DJ’s professional rescue team and are at times unruly and colourful souls with a reputation that proceeds them, police complaints, social media scandals, the subject of political debates and moral criticism from the all-mighty leaders of the Church,  it all works.

DJ will tell you with a grin and gleam in the eye, “I have some high-risk souls working for me. But then again, We’re in the high-risk management business”……” all good”.

It’s all about the teamwork, “The Team” safety and survival. DJ learned it as a young Lifeguard on the South coast of England, learned it again in the special forces, again in international business and for sure his personal life. The days of the lone cowboy, go it alone, are over……. Well…. Kind of…… 


Demons From The Past:

Before his former commanding officer died some years before, he wrote a personal note, words of wisdom.  A prophecy of sorts. Hanging on the wall at the side of DJ’s desk next to the stunning view of the ever-changing aqua hues and shades of the grey sea, he glances at those words every day. 


Turns out, the death bed note written some years before holds clues. What did he know? What kind of prophecy is this?

DJ and Chief Ryan dive into their military past, resurrecting memories and piecing together events as to what they saw and remember and what they really meant as to the clues of the present.

What’s the connection to a network of high-end foreign asset managers and private bankers coming and going meeting these people when Malta has its own world-class financial network?

As for the other intelligence agencies, they fail to realize, there are two pros on the ground, in action with a historical link to one of their top suspects and ring leader of an ancient dark trade with state sponsors. But in the end, the so-called secretive intelligence agencies will trade information with DJ and Ryan for clues and answers, in exchange for a favor.


How it ends?

Or does it really end?

It’s been a long season; mind-boggling twist and turns, a lot of great rescues, some losses, betrayals by those whom they thought were friends, day to day action, death, love, overcoming insurmountable odds of survival, old and new friendships are solidified and new love found for the team. 

The Lifeguard crew and a few police meet up; a group therapy session is sitting around an evening beach fire with food and drink. Reflecting on the season’s events, an emotional download bond fire session of sorts ……… One question remains unanswered……. And there may never be an answer, even though there may be clues. At end of the season, the team is overwhelmed with exhaustion, fatigue and the desire just to get back to normal, or maybe no one really wants to know, enough is enough.

The story concludes around the beach fire. But does it end?

 Or is it, maybe, no one wants to resurrect another ghost? 

©2020 The Lifeguard