Lifeguard

Jason Benniman, Brighton seafront

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

When did you become a manager?

In 1998, when I started work as a fitness instructor in South Africa. I did a pool lifeguard course in 1999 and worked as a lifeguard in Cape Town. It's my first season on Brighton beach.

What does management mean to you?

Patience. I keep an eye on the general public to make sure they're safe and educated on the tide and weather. I'm responsible for general beach usage and have to react to any injuries or problems. We can get a couple of thousand people on the beach on August Bank Holiday, and lots of lost children. Boats can cause a nuisance, especially if they come too close to the buoys. We'll go out in the patrol boats and have a word with them. And you get teenagers who pier-jump - it's their way of being rebellious. All I can do is keep an eye on them and tell them about the dangers.

What do you love/hate about it?

Brighton is very different to Cape Town - there aren't any sharks and the lack of sand doesn't help with the Baywatch image. I love being in the water and being able to help people, but I wish we had a little more authority to deal with unruly people as we're not allowed to intervene in any way.

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