For the past three years, Vittoria Farmer has been working her dream job as a lifeguard for Noosa Council. The flexibility of hours allows her to train and compete as a professional surfer on the World Surf League, while being close to the water, her first love, all day.
“Lifeguarding sort of fell into my lap,” Farmer said.
“I’m a surfer and a lot of the lifeguards around Noosa are surfers.
“I spend so much time in the water surfing and that kind of translates to lifeguarding.”
However, her role as a lifeguard is far from easy, as with so many tourists coming to the Noosa region each year. She must remain vigilant in patrolling the beaches and often administers first aid to both tourists and locals for incidents in and out of the water.
“With the sheer volume of people who come here, it’s quite common to be practising first aid,” she said.
“This happens due to surfing incidents, falling on rocks in the national park or even getting a splinter on the boardwalk.”
Farmer and her fellow lifeguards also enjoy educating international visitors on surf safety. She wants people to feel lifeguards are approachable.
“We are constantly educating and answering questions from members of the public,” she said.
“It’s really cool seeing how many different nationalities and cultures come through Noosa and being able to educate them on the surf and conditions.”
Farmer, now heading into her fourth season as a lifeguard, said the 2018 season was one of the toughest, yet most rewarding, times of her life.
“We had a particularly challenging summer in terms of conditions at Noosa,” she said.
“We had a lot of major rescues during that six weeks, where we were dealing with rescues all day.”
On one occasion, lifeguards performed 120 rescues in a single day.
“It was the most excelled learning I’ve had so far and every day was completely different,” she said.
“It was a pretty exhausting but rewarding feeling.
“It’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”