COAST PATROL: Michael Poli and Mitchell Haigh love the hours spent on the beach in their duties as life-guards.
COAST PATROL: Michael Poli and Mitchell Haigh love the hours spent on the beach in their duties as life-guards. Mike Richards GLA020118SURF

Mitchell gets a thrill of the surf

SURF LIFESAVING: While most teenagers are enjoying school holidays at the movies, camping, at the skate-park or the beach, Mitchell Haigh is there to make sure all are safe as they take to the water.

The Tannum Sands Surf Life Saving Club surf lifesaver and lifeguard can be seen regularly with his partner-in-crime Michael Poli patrolling the picturesque beach.

The 17-year-old is also a competitor and has competed at various surf lifesaving competitions, which will include the states from March 16-18, Australian Titles, April 18-22 and the World Titles from November 16 to December 2.

"Just to meet so many new people is just great and I love competing," Mitchell said of what prompted him into surf lifesaving.

"Going away down the coast all the time and getting involved with the surf life saving club, going down to patrols all the time and being a lifeguard is great."

Mitchell's parents Sandra and Stephen were the main people who got him involved at the TSSLSC when he was just six years of age.

The biggest thing Mitchell said he gets out of surf lifesaving was looking out for others as well as being self disciplined and to earn respect.

He tells of the people who have helped him along the way in the sport of surf lifesaving.

"I reckon Mark Bryant is probably the biggest one for me and he has been training me for 11 years," Mitchell said.

While being a surf lifesaver is volunteer-based, Mitchell gets paid as a lifeguard.

"That's basically my job at the moment and then outside I'm just doing my sports still," he said.

Mitchell and Michael patrol the Tannum Beach four times a week during the holiday period and Mitchell completes training before and after the shifts.

"One starts at 8am and finishes at 4pm and the other starts at 10am and finishes at 6pm," Mitchell said.

He said the start of the new year had been quite mainly because of the recent northerlies, which have brought in bluebottles.

"We're getting a few bluebottle stings and keeps you busy," Mitchell said.