Of all the pools in all the world in which you could get into difficulty, you’d want it to be this one.
There is an air of confidence and a steely determination in Nathan Newbrook’s eyes that make you certain you would not meet your end at the bottom of this deep end
The same calm, controlled manner comes across when you engage this remarkable young man in conversation. Some might think it has something to do with the pair of boxing gloves he’s carrying. It hasn’t.
I’m amazed that David Cameron hasn’t yet come knocking on his door to hold him up as a perfect example of what he thinks the Big Society might mean.
To explain: Nathan is an expert on everything to do with death... and avoiding it.
He’s one of those people you would want crouching over you with reassuring words after an accident.
He is, in the dreadful jargon of today, a lifestyle consultant. In other words, he runs a gym at which he works 40 hours a week.
He runs his own business as a personal trainer on top of that.
In his spare time he is also an emergency medic and member of a lifeboat team. He volunteers for both.
Oh, and then there are his starring roles as a skater in ice shows at Gosport.
Nathan Newbrook has just turned 21.
For someone so young he has a mature head on his shoulders.
‘It might be a cliche, but I mean it when I say that I’ve always wanted to help people and go into jobs where I can do just that.
‘I never wanted a dead-end job, always something which really interested me and in which the rewards were just being able to help others,’ he says with genuine modesty.
But surely there are not enough hours in the day, let alone a week, to do all these things justice?
‘You just keep focused and do your very best at what you’re doing at that particular time.
‘I’ve always wanted to be successful and never wanted to let anyone down.’
We’re chatting at the Spirit Health Club in the Holiday Inn at Pembroke Park, Old Portsmouth. He comes equipped with the boxing gloves because he has recently qualified to teach boxercise – a way of keeping fit without the violence.
He’s been there since October 2008 having worked for the previous three years as a supervisor at Gosport ice rink.
‘I was born and bred in Gosport and love the place. I’ve been skating there since I was eight.
‘My sister and I went along one day and fell in love with the sport. My mum works there and when I got a job at the rink it was like a dream come true, but after three years it was time to move away.’
So he became a gym instructor and has just qualified as a personal trainer.
‘I work with some people who are going through cardiac rehabilitation – suffering from heart defects.
‘I just like to be able to get them to where they want to be in terms of their fitness. It’s really stimulating.’
Where does his inspiration come from? There’s no hesitation. ‘My three brothers. There’s a 10-year gap between them and me and they all work for the ambulance service.
‘I saw what they were doing when I was young and knew I wanted a career in a caring service.’
Two brothers work for the South Central Ambulance Service in Hampshire, the other for the South East Coast Ambulance Service across the border in Sussex.
Nathan has now become a community first responder. ‘I carry a pager and you can get called at 3am, but it can be crucial.
‘You’re the first to get to a scene. You can be called to something in the next street and can get there really fast even though the ambulance should be there in eight minutes.
‘We can deal with anything from a category A (life-threatening) situation such as cardiac arrest, haemorrhage or having to use a defibrillator, to having to give an aspirin.
‘It’s a pain sometimes to get paged when you’re on the beach...’
Ah, the beach. So there is some down time?
Er, no. When he refers to the beach he means working on the beach with the team from Gafirs (the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service) for whom he has volunteered.
Again he is following in the footsteps of a brother – Chris.
‘I’m shore-based at the moment, but I’m really looking forward to getting out on the water.’
Does he ever relax? ‘I like playing with my Xbox with friends and going to the pub for the evening, but I’ve never liked sitting around.
‘If I’m at home in the evening I can never just sit still, I want to be out on my bike or roller blades getting some exercise...’