Highly Reliable Organisations (HROs) are safety-centric organisations that operate in complex environments alongside risky technologies and processes. There is a high risk of catastrophe and error in these settings, the consequences of which may result in loss of life, financial cost, and damage to the environment. “Chronic unease” is a concept originally adopted by Royal Dutch Shell describing a mindset that has five predictable attributes that contribute to an individual’s and organisational safety culture. The authors of this paper describe the attributes of chronic unease in the context of lifeguard operations. A case study of a dangerous and dynamic rescue situation from a popular New Zealand beach is presented and analysed wearing a ‘cloak of chronic unease’ to draw upon the attributes of this concept and to present a discussion about how lifeguards, their managers, and leaders may learn valuable lessons from HROs to develop safer operations by fostering a similar mindset we have dubbed: “The Rescue-Ready” mindset.