You might not see him between the red flags but this dedicated surf lifesaver is keeping an eye out for you.
Joshua Dick is one of the volunteer surf lifesavers who patrols the coast on jet ski. He keeps watch for struggling swimmers, and occasionally sharks, from the ocean.
It’s a unique perspective from which to view the city’s beaches.
“Earlier on last year we were out near Swansea and we saw some seals playing on the rocks,” Mr Dick said.
“You often see dolphins playing.
“Occasionally in the distance you see a whale breach, but it’s best to stay away from them,” he said.
Mr Dick’s ski patrol involves attending incidents between Stockton and Redhead, assisting in search and rescue operations and, when required, monitoring beaches for sharks that have been sighted a bit too close to land.
“It’s not too bad when you’re out of the water,” Mr Dick said.
“There’s been a few intense things, none involving anything like sharks.
“When the surf’s bigger and messier, you’re just focusing on doing what you’ve got to do.”
And the Wallsend resident does a lot for swimmers in the region.
Apart from his ski stint, Mr Dick has conducted regular patrols at Birubi since 2013.
“I’d always wanted to do my Bronze Medallion and my good mate was doing it up at Birubi, who, I guess, gave me the foot up the backside to get it done,” Mr Dick said.
“It’s not too bad a drive up to Birubi.”
This season Mr Dick has also signed up as a duty officer for the Hunter region, which means attending all major incidents as a liaison between lifesavers and other emergency services staff.
He said it was “hard to explain” why he had sought more responsibility in the organisation when he also manages his own small construction company.
Mr Dick has a lifesaving shift most weekends.
“I just keep going back to that sense of doing something for the community,” he said.
“You get a lot out of giving.”
Henry Scruton, the president of Hunter Surf Lifesaving, nominated Mr Dick for the title of Hunter Water Hunter Hero in 2019.
“He puts so much time into surf life saving,” Mr Scruton said.
“That’s all additional extra time above his club hours.”
With all that responsibility does the surf lifesaver ever get to enjoy the water?
“I do try to get to the beach as much as I can,” he said.
“But I get a lot of enjoyment out of the surf life saving.”