Florida Lifeguard Fired for Rescuing Drowning Man
A Florida lifeguard was fired for vacating his lifeguarding zone to save a man drowning in an unprotected area of a beach in Hallandale Beach, Fla., Monday.
Tomas Lopez, a supervisor at the beach, worked for Jeff Ellis and Associates, a private aquatic safety contractor, that is not paid to patrol the zone where the man was drowning.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Lopez was informed by a beachgoer that the man was drowning in the water about 1,500 feet south of his post.
“I ran out to do the job I was trained to do,” said Lopez, 21, of Davie. “I didn’t think about it at all.”
By the time Lopez reached the drowning man, he had been pulled to the shore by fellow beachgoers.
After his rescue attempt, Lopez was fired for abandoning the area he was supposed to be covering.
According to Susan Ellis, spokeswoman for Jeff Ellis and Associates, Lopez broke company rules by leaving his zone and therefore cited “liability issues” that may have occurred as a result of Lopez leaving his designated area.