Tomas Lopez was a lifeguard on Hallendale Beach, 20 miles north of Miami. Last Monday he saw a man struggling in the water and pulled him to shore, saving his life. The problem was, his rescue took place in waters about 1,500 feet south of Lopez’s assigned station. The lifeguarding firm for which Lopez worked fired him for leaving his designated zone, citing liability risks.
Now that firm has offered Lopez his job back after determining that the lifeguard did not leave his station unattended when he left to help the drowning man. However, Lopez has declined their offer. Nine other lifeguards have been affected as well—they either quit in solidarity or were fired for stating publicly that they would do as Lopez did. Their status is not yet clear.