Get to know one of our Dominican Republic lifeguards! We trained Nelphy in 2012 and since then, he volunteer lifeguards in the Dominican Republic!
My name is Nelphy Arvelo. I am 21 years old and I am from Cabarete, in the Dominican Republic.
Were you an active swimmer as a child?
When I was younger I wasn’t active swimmer because I was playing only tennis. Then I started to get into water sports after school and at my work.
What do you do?
I Work at Viva Windham Tangerine Cabarete . I work at the water sports house at the resort. I teach tennis, and I take patrons sailing on the Catamaran, windsurfing, kitesurfing, and regular surfing. My others skills are kayak and SUP bodyboarding.
How did you get involved with ISLA?
I got involved with ISLA because of my job at the beach with Viva. I work full-time in the water so I heard there was going to be a lifeguard training and for sure I wanted to be in it. I took the course in 2012.
What was your experience in the course?
The isla course was really hard intense water training and theory preparation to get know how to saves lives.
I really learned a lot during isla course, how to prevent drowning, and how to go in the water for someone, how to make rescues with a surfboard if the victim is long way deep from the beach, how to do the first aux, how to act in or out the water, how to handle the water and the worse case scenarios, how to know of the conditions of the water, and how to tell if it’s safe enough for people to be allowed to go in.
What was the hardest part of the course?
The hardest part was the last day physical training for me. I really think the preparation before go in the water was the hardest.
What was the best part of the course?
It was really good that I took the isla course. Now I know how to be a lifeguard. It is important because now I am using the skills I learned everyday at my job working at the beach.
What was your first rescue like?
For my first rescue I was really nervous at the beginning because I knew I had to go and make it. Its was at my job at the beach there was alot of currents in the shore break and 2 people were further than the others. I saw them trying to get back to the beach but the rip current keep pulling them back. Once I saw that, I went right away! There was both a father and a son and I was worried about rescuing both of them. The father was closer to me than the kid so I let the buoy float to the man and went for the kid. I was able to rescue them both from the current and bring them back to shore safely.
What is it like lifeguarding for Semana Santa?
I’ve lifeguarded Semana Santa alongside ISLA for the last two years. To be a lifeguard during Semana Santa it really exciting for me because the number of people in the water is crazy.
Why water safety important?
Water safety is important because you can prevent bad thing from happening on your beach. With water safety and lifeguarding you are able to keep a nice and safe beach.
What do you love most about ISLA?
I love to be part of this organization because its a nice experience for my life.