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"The Guardian": Rescue Recruit Learns Importance of Teamwork

The Guardian is the story of Jake Fischer (Ashton Kutcher), a high-school swim champ who enrolls in the U.S. Coast Guard's "A" School. Here, legendary rescue swimmer Ben Randall (Kevin Costner) teaches him some hard lessons about self-sacrifice.

After Randall reluctantly takes an assignment to train a new batch of potential rescue swimmers, one of the first training exercises for the new recruits is to tread water in a pool for one hour. They are instructed that if they touch the wall or the bottom of the pool, they fail.

Randall calls out to the recruits: "Hoo rah, class 5506! Now, who here can tell me the rescue swimmer's motto?"

"So others may live, senior chief!" Fischer answers.

"Oooh, I feel safer already. Are you willing to sacrifice your life so others may live, Goldfish?" asks Randall.

"Yes, I am, senior chief!" replies Fischer.

Randall continues his exhortation: "You will have to earn that right. I want you to think about that. There's going to come a time when you reach the point of exhaustion; you'll want to give up. The question is, will you?"

As one of the swimmers develops a cramp, he begins to struggle and sink to the bottom. As he does, he grabs hold of Fischer, but Fischer pushes him off. The struggling swimmer then paddles to the side of the pool.

"You're dismissed," says the senior chief.

"I cramped up," protests the swimmer.

"You're gone," insists Randall. "First lesson in physics—muscle does not float. Petty Officer Watson, get him out of the pool."

As the student exits the water, the chief puts his foot on Goldfish's head and pushes him back into the pool. He says, "I thought you said you were willing to sacrifice your life for another."

"I am, senior chief," Fischer responds.

"Then why didn't you save your teammate when he reached out for you?"

"I wasn't aware we were working as a team, senior chief," Fischer answers.

"That's the only way we work, swim champ."

Elapsed time: DVD scene 3; 00:29:45–00:32:46

Content: Rated PG—13 for intense action/peril, brief strong language, and some sensuality.

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