Lifeguard feels the heat

WOLLONGONG ADVERTISER

Canadian lifesaver Richard MacCauley has experienced freezing conditions as low as minus 42 degrees back home in Nova Scotia.

This month Mr MacCauley was on patrol at Austinmer Beach when the temperature hit a scorching 42degrees.

Funnily enough the 22-year-old, who’s in the midst of a six-week lifeguard-exchange program in Wollongong, didn’t much like either experience.

‘‘I’ve never felt anything like that heat before – it wasn’t very nice,’’ Mr MacCauley said.

‘‘I’ve also felt the opposite [freezing] conditions – that wasn’t pleasant either.’’

Mr MacCauley is the latest recruit in an exchange program that has been running between the Wollongong City Council and the Nova Scotia Lifeguard Service for more than 20 years.

He arrived in Australia on December12 and began work at Austinmer Beach 10 days later.

Mr MacCauley has enjoyed surfing at many of the Illawarra’s beaches.

‘‘The waves are better here because you get consistent swell,’’ he said.

‘‘Also, we’re lucky to get water temperatures pushing 20degrees at home in the peak of summer.

‘‘So it’s certainly nice not to have to wear a wetsuit in the water.’’

The council’s recreation services manager, Jason Foye, said the exchange program gave Canadian and Australian lifeguards the chance to learn new techniques and skills in a different environment.

‘‘Our lifeguards get the chance to work on Nova Scotia’s lakes while the Canadian recruit gets a taste of our often heavy surf conditions,’’ Mr Foye said.

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