|Courtney Mattson's project is not about saving traditions, it's about saving lives. She has interviewed Thomas Moréno, a lifeguard here on the beach of Les Sables d'Olonne. She has gathered a treasure of information about a job that runs from early June to late September. Since this work is seasonal, most lifeguards have another occupation (student, fireman, etc). The exams required for certification are quite rigorous, as are the physical requirements of the job. Courtney notes, however, that the real life of of lifeguard is not exactly "Baywatch all the time". Well maybe it is: watch is the key word, isn't it? That's what the guards do most of the time. Courtney says there are only one or two "savings" each year in Les Sables. That's not much excitement for 9 guards on shore and one off, who survey the bathers all day long for four months. Most days they work at keeping surfers and swimmers in their separate areas and at keeping measures of temperatures and wind speeds. Every now and then they get to treat the sting of a jellyfish, an exciting moment for all... Truth is, though, that the beach of Les Sables would not have the wonderful reputation it enjoys without the devotion of those who work to make it safe for everyone.|
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This page last updated on 6/25/2004 12:30:14 PM.