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Meet Clifford Tuyau - Security Guard at Ile aux Cerfs

August 14 2019

Mauritius is a country of many surprises and incredible wonders. It’s a destination that can be almost anything you want it to be, whether you are a foodie, explorer, beach fanatic or nature lover, you can make the most of the incredible offerings in Mauritius. Filled with a wealth of special facets and experiences, it’s a veritable treasure trove for adventurous jet setters. 

One of Mauritius’ many drawcards is definitely the mysterious island gem; Ile aux Cerfs, the exotic and breathtaking island off the east coast of Mauritius. This mesmerising mirage is simply irresistible for day revelers and enthusiastic golfers.
 

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Golfers flock to the private golfer beach and the esteemed Ile aux Cerfs Golf Course, designed by the fabled Bernhard Langer, while those seeking tropical cocktails that are created to be enjoyed to the sound of the ocean lapping the shore, can head to Ile aux Cerfs’ Leisure Island, where wonderful activities and incredible gastronomic offerings abound.

While a trip to Ile aux Cerfs is sure to be unforgettable no matter what, the experience is always enhanced by the wonderful staff who work on the island, from the restaurant and golf course staff (and pro golfers) to the excellent security guards, such as Clifford Tuyau, who has been working in the industry for a staggering 19 years.

Clifford Tuyau works as both a security guard and lifeguard on the Ile aux Cerfs Leisure Island and is well known for his incredibly fit physique, his height and his strength (not to mention his exemplary communication skills), but this man is so much more than a fantastic guardian of Ile aux Cerfs. He is well-known and liked for his amazingly warm and friendly disposition and soft heart - he’s the ultimate gentle giant, there to watch over all the guests at Ile aux Cerfs and to ensure that they can relish a carefree day in paradise. 

We chatted to Clifford about his role at Ile aux Cerfs and this is what he shared with us:

How long have you worked for Sun Resorts?

I started working at IAC in 2000. At that time, I worked for a security company called Securicor (now Brinks). In 2012, I started to work with IAC directly - the management of IAC was very satisfied with my performance and I am now the first person that they contact when there are issues related to security on the island. 

What motivated you to join IAC?

Honestly, the island itself motivates me to come to work every day - I usually just swim to the island from the jetty. Also, I love my job as a security guard and lifeguard. Working in security has always been my passion. And it makes me feel very in control and responsible as I am in charge of the security here. Because, naturally, IAC doesn’t have a physical door, it’s important to prevent trespassers on the island and to ensure guests are safe at all times. 

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

I start work at 8:00 am every day, then I have breakfast and start my day with a briefing. I am typically based on the public beach and I welcome guests as they arrive at the jetty. It is my responsibility to take the guests from the jetty to our restaurants and to ensure that they are not approached by fraudsters who sometimes to wander the island. I then stay at the restaurant to ensure everything is secure, and at noon, I have lunch.

After lunch, I spend my afternoon welcoming guests and ensuring that everything is secure on the island - we sometimes have outsiders come onto the island with picnics that they eat at the restaurant tables so I also have to manage this and ensure they go to the beach instead. 

Ultimately, I ensure the security of all of the beaches controlled by Sun Resorts. I typically end my day at 5 pm, but if there are private functions or parties on the island I will then work overtime.

What about IAC makes you excited to work here?

The island itself is really unique. 

What are some of the things guests enjoy the most about IAC?
 

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The guests love the breathtaking views from Ile aux Cerfs, the welcome they get, the service they get and of course our beaches, which are really clean - all of these things really make guests feel special. 

Why, in your own words, do you think your role at IAC is so important?

I am a very responsible person and everyone seems to love the way I work, this really motivates me and makes me feel important. I’ve also been here a long time so I know the island by heart and whenever a problem arises, I am the first one that they call and I sort out whatever the problem is. 

What is your most treasured memory from your job?

I saved someone from drowning once and this was really memorable for me. The person drowning actually almost died and I saved his life. The best memory I have of the incident was when I took him out of the water and used my first aid skills to save him. I feel like I gave him a second chance at life and it’s pretty amazing because that person has been forever grateful towards me. You don’t forget something like that. 

What motivates you to swim to work, when did you start doing it and why?

When I started working, I did not know how to swim, I used to work on Margenie Island and only then I came to IAC. So I used to observe the water and eventually I started swimming in the shallow water. One day, they were giving lifeguard training at the hotel so I decided to join. Once I got my qualification, I worked as a lifeguard as well as a security guard and I just thought, well one way to keep me fit would be to swim from the jetty to the island each day, so I did!

How do you maintain such a fit body?

Well, naturally, swimming from the jetty to the island every day helps. But I also do about 20 minutes of jogging after my swim twice a week. That helps me to maintain a fit body, I also do 100 press-ups straight sometimes.

What role do communication skills play in your job?

Communication plays an important role in my work. Having good communication skills resolves many problems. For example, we often have locals coming onto the island and wondering on parts of it that are private or exclusive. I simply talk to them calmly, explain to them why they aren’t allowed there and shouldn’t wander there and that it’s important to respect the privacy of each and every guest on the island. If I don’t talk to them calmly, there will be heated conversation between both parties. I am careful to always keep calm, to keep my voice down and my tone even.

What are some issues that generally arise on the island?

Sometimes illegal beach hawkers come onto the island and disturb the guests. We just need to help them understand that not all parts of the island are public. We try to explain this, but sometimes they don’t understand and take revenge by disturbing the guests in other ways. 

The locals often think that the island is only for tourists, how can you dispel this misconception?
 

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I think it’s just important to get the message out. IAC is open to everyone as long as they follow the procedures for accessing the island properly and reserving their time on the island, there won’t be any issues. The island is open for both tourists and locals - we offer the same services to everyone. 

What are some of your achievements?

I won the Mr Mauritius title in 1999, which was fun because I was always fond of bodybuilding. Then I won Mr Moka-Flacq in 2002. Moreover, I have a Masters in Lifeguard training, with 7 international certificates, for both the sea and pool. 

Who would you like to credit for what you are today?

I would like to thank Mr Sooress Lollbeehary, our manager, Mr Marc Amelot, Nasseer Panchapully, Kevin and Kevvy Mohun. They have always supported me and have always believed in my capabilities. 

What are your hobbies when you are not on the island?

At home, I take my dog, a Rottweiler, to the Le Pouce Mountain for trekking, he is a very intelligent dog. I also relax at home and do some training at a gym in my village. 

What are some health tips you can share with us?

Never using doping products and always opt for natural proteins found in oatmeal, dry fruits, and manioc, especially Casilan, this is one of the best supplements you can take.

Another tip is to take some peas, soak them in water overnight and then drink that water in the morning, this is a really good way to keep yourself healthy.

How does it feel to be able to take the boat to work?

It’s really unique, most people go to work by bus, car, or motorcycle, I come to work on a boat, this is really enjoyable when you get to breathe the fresh air in the morning while travelling by boat.
 

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Interested in experiencing the gorgeous island of Ile aux Cerfs for yourself (while incredible staff members, like Clifford Tuyau) make sure your experience is exceptional? Get in touch with us for more information on what is possible at Ile aux Cerfs.

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