The firing of a Hallandale Beach, Tomas Lopez ,21-year-old ,lifeguard has drawn harsh criticism, all because he saved a drowning man outside of his patrol area.
It's the Fourth of July holiday, and Hallandale Beach was packed with people enjoying the sun, the sand, and the water.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Lopez was approached by a beachgoer who pointed out a man struggling in the water nearly 1,500 feet south of his post.
Lopez said he jumped into the water and "I double underhooked him…I was worried about the guy and his health. He was blue."
He assisted him until paramedics arrived—and was promptly fired for leaving the section of beach his company is paid to patrol.
Six more Florida lifeguards have lost their jobs for backing a coworker's decision to save a man struggling in the surf but outside their jurisdiction.
Orlando-based Jeff Ellis and Associates, the company Lopez worked for, said lifeguards cannot go beyond the perimeter of the beach they are responsible for overseeing.
His employer says his actions endangered beachgoers in his section and could have exposed the company to lawsuits, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
Lopez, who had been in the job for four months, says he would do the same thing again. "It was the moral thing to do," he says. "I would never pick a job over my morals."