Yarmouth man’s dream came true after getting a summer job two years ago

Shane Breadmore

Shane Breadmore - Credit: Archant

There was joy this week for a Great Yarmouth man when he achieved his ambition of diving with sharks and a sea turtle at the resort's Sea Life Centre.

Shane Breadmore

Shane Breadmore - Credit: Archant

Shane Breadmore, 21, had struggled for work after leaving the former Oriel High School, however two years ago an opportunity for a summer job as a costume character at Sea Life became available.

Regular half-hour stints dressed as a Moshi Monster were perhaps not the most glamorous assignments, but in his out-of-costume breaks Shane started to develop a keen interest in the sea creatures.

'I'd always been interested in wildlife, but knew nothing about sea creatures until that first job at Sea Life,' he said.

When he saw senior aquarist Darren Gook don scuba gear and join the resident sharks and green turtle Noah in the ocean display, Shane suddenly found he had a new goal in life.

Happily, he managed to impress the management and was recruited full time to its education team when his six-week summer job ended.

Shane's willingness to muck in and help the marine experts on the displays team whenever the opportunity arose did not go unnoticed by curator Christine Pitcher.

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She guaranteed a happy Christmas for Shane, who shares his Sandown Court home with partner Zoe, when she welcomed him as a part-time member of her team early last December.

Shane now divides his time between delivering talks and interacting with visitors, and helping to care for the many hundreds of different sea creatures….from shrimps and starfish to seahorses, sharks, crocodiles and penguins.

At the first opportunity Shane enrolled to learn how to dive. Merlin Entertainments offers training which help and encourage staff to advance and in the space of six months he has progressed from a novice diver to a qualified PADI 'rescue diver.'

That means he is qualified to dive in the centre's ocean tank, and this week he finally fulfilled that ambition.