One-armed lifeguard unable to land job

September 22, 2017
Gladstone Taylor / Photographer David Bascoe a certified lifeguard, is unable to secure employment in his field.
Gladstone Taylor / Photographer David Bascoe a certified lifeguard, is unable to secure employment in his field.

Despite being certified as a lifeguard, David Bascoe, who has one arm, has been unable to pick up a job for the past six years. Bascoe, 31, lost his arm after being electrocuted when he was just seven years old.

"Most of the places that I go and look job, they say they don't have any space. Most of them even turn me down because of my disability, although I told them that I am a certified lifeguard," Bascoe said.

He told THE WEEKEND STAR that he feels let down, arguing that he would have landed a job a long time ago if he had both arms. Discouraged by the way he has been treated, Bascoe said he is no longer looking to get a job as a lifeguard. He said he felt gutted by the way he has been treated.

"I was in a devastating position knowing that I was trying to get a job to maintain myself and couldn't get through because of my hand and I didn't feel good about it," he said.


My survival


Bascoe said he taught himself to swim the following year after his left arm was amputated above the elbow. He said he learnt to swim by watching other persons who swam at a river nearby his home in Exchange, St Ann.

"When I went to the training and told the instructor that is something that I do before, he was very surprised. I tell him that where I live in Exchange, a river run behind my house and a lot a people come there. I also go to Irie River and I save a lot of people there and I teach people to swim also," he told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Bascoe told THE WEEKEND STAR that he has taken his mind off landing a job as a lifeguard. However, he spends lots of time in the water as he depends on the sea to provide his bread.

"True, I know that I can do the fishing, I just take up di fishing for my survival. That is where I make my money so that means I am self-employed," he said.

Bascoe, who has represented Jamaica in track and field, says he has got weary of searching for jobs and is now interested in furthering his athletic career.

"My mind is more set on the track and field so if I get a job right now and I don't have any time to do my training, it is gonna ruin everything, so doing the fishing right now at least I have a lot of time to do the training," he said.

Bascoe says his aim is to qualify to represent Jamaica in the Pan Am Games next year, so he is saving the money he makes from fishing to journey across the island to compete in qualifying meets such as the All-Comers meet.

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