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Fla. lifeguard fired for rescue outside beach zone

4:24 PM, Jul 4, 2012   |    comments
Getty Images: Robin Utrecht/AFP
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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. -- Lifeguard Tomas Lopez helped save a drowning man and got fired for it.

The reason: He left the section of a south Florida beach his company is paid to patrol.

The Orlando-based company, Jeff Ellis and Associates, says Lopez broke a company rule and could have put beachgoers in his section in jeopardy.

The Sun Sentinel reported Lopez was on duty Monday at Hallandale Beach when a beachgoer asked for help.

Lopez said he ran to assist a man struggling in the water south of his post. By the time Lopez arrived, witnesses had pulled the drowning man out of the water.

Lopez and an off-duty nurse helped him until paramedics arrived.

The victim survived and was hospitalized. Afterward, Lopez was fired. Two other lifeguards have quit in protest.

The Associated Press

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