French lifesaver’s dream Aussie job in Yamba
CLEMENT Sarazzin grew up spending time travelling from his home in Nantes in northwestern France to his grandmother’s house on the Atlantic Ocean to be near the beach.
He became a lifeguard in France at the age of 20, but always dreamt to come to Australia and work on our beaches.
This year, he made the trip over the oceans, and was assigned to work as a lifeguard on the beaches at Yamba, and he said the dream is everything he expected it to be.
“I expected this kind of place with the white s and, pretty big surf, big surf club, sharks, stingrays, stone fish, snakes — and it’s definitely what I expected,” he said.
“When I arrived two months ago, I started to train with the club and got my bronze medallion and started to go out with the patrol teams.”
Mr Sarrazin worked as a lifeguard over the holidays, as well as a volunteer lifesaver with the Yamba Surf Life Saving Club, and he said he found the club amazing.
“The history of the club is fantastic, and I find all the time the community is proud of the club,” he said.
“I really like being on patrol when locals can share their stories of the surf, the club or even about the Yamba community.”
Coming from a large city, Mr Sarrazin described Yamba as “pretty chilled”, and the lifestyle allowed him more time to do things.
“I like this lifestyle, this way of living, I feel I have more time for myself so I can train,” he said.
His training will lead him to his first surf contest this weekend at Kingscliff, with a view to competing at the Australian titles in April.
“I’m more a runner, so I’ll probably competing in the two kilometre runs,” he said.
“But I’m keen to stay until after the Australian title, and I’m happy to stay in Yamba that time.
Mr Sarrazin said he found the beach crowds much more accommodating, and even noted the children showed the lifeguards more respect than what he was used to.
‘The kids really like us,” he said. “It’s not the same in France.
“Here you’re part of the community and I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
Mr Sarrazin thanked local lifeguard supervisor Mitch Imeson, who he has been staying with, and surf club stalwart Jim Dougherty for their support and helping him become integrated into the community.
Following the close of the season, he will continue work as a lifeguard at the local pool.