RNLI Senior Seasonal Lifeguard Arun Gray
You have to be ready for anything as a lifeguard.
How did you get into lifeguarding?
This is my fifth season as a beach lifeguard, all of which have been with the RNLI. I was a pool lifeguard previously and wanted a challenging change.
What support do you get from the RNLI?
The lifeguards are very well looked after by the RNLI. They often update us with what's going on within the charity - and the lifeguard training’s rigorous. We train with the lifeboat crew and, for fun, the lifeguards have an annual beach volleyball match against them. We tend to win!
What do you enjoy most about the job?
What I enjoy the most about being a lifeguard is the fitness training, being outdoors and the challenges that come with the job. We have to swim 400m in under 7½ minutes, so it tends to get a little bit competitive!
How do you keep fit?
I like to keep fit at the beach in my spare time. I always take my dog for a run there and during the winter it’s good for some tough workouts. I also try to get a bit of surfing in and sea swim to mix my training up. I have also just started to work as a Sport Scientist for Peterborough United Football Club! I play football myself – it keeps my fitness up ready for the summer.
What memorable rescues have you been involved in?
You have to be ready for anything as a lifeguard. In the sea a couple of seasons ago, a man and his two children were in trouble on an inflatable dinghy further down the coast. We had to launch the rescue watercraft really quickly to rescue them. We also had to deal with a young man who had a head injury and possible spinal injury. I had to coordinate it all. The lifeboat crew and coastguard teams also helped because he needed to be evacuated by an air ambulance.
What’s the best thing about the beaches?
The friendly locals. Everyone seems to appreciate the work we do, which is always nice to hear. The locals even drop off the occasional cake! Around August time, we have porpoises swimming close to the beach together. Some people run away from the water and tell us there are sharks in the sea! They soon think they're cute when I explain what they are!
What’s your favourite beach snack?
My favourite beach snack is ice cream with a flake! You can't beat it on a hot sunny day! I have a little brother who likes making sandcastles on holiday so he runs to me for help when he's making a big one.