Lifeguards are supposed to save lives, right? Well, several lifeguards in Florida were temporarily out of jobs this week after one of them saved a man from drowning on a stretch of beach north of Miami -- and then was fired for doing so.
That lifeguard apparently left his station to save a swimmer in distress outside his designated zone. Tomas Lopez, 21, said he was dismissed after Monday's near-drowning, with his supervisor citing liability issues.
In response, several of Lopez's lifeguard colleagues banded together and either quit in solidarity or were fired for publicly proclaiming that they would have done the same, according to Fox News.
The initial incident took place on tiny Hallandale Beach, about 20 miles north of Miami, and has sparked nationwide interest and outrage -- coming, as it does, during the height of the summer beach season. Since then, the story has unfolded rapidly. Most people, after all, expect lifeguards to actually guard lives when they see someone in water danger, regardless of what liabilities and lawyers might say.
The lifeguard staffing firm, Jeff Ellis Management, did not return a phone call and email seeking comment Thursday. But Jeff Ellis, head of the firm, told the Sun Sentinel on Thursday that Lopez would be offered his job back, as would the others.