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.

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.

UPDATE: Lopez's former company has offered to re-hire him. See how he responded here. See which celebs have hit the beach so far this summer:
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  • Hayden Panettiere

  • Ciara

  • Maria Menounos

  • Gwen Stefani

  • Lea Michele

  • Angela Simmons

  • Janice Dickinson

  • Anne Hathaway

  • Angela Simmons

  • Ciara

  • Shemar Moore

  • Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

  • Naomi Campbell

  • James Marsden

  • Rachel Bilson & Hayden Christensen

  • Nicolette Sheridan

  • Balthazar Getty

  • Josh Radnor

  • George Clooney

  • Minnie Driver

  • Gwen Stefani

  • Emma Thompson

  • Sharon Stone & Boyfriend

  • Bruce Jenner

  • Eric Dane

  • Sharon Stone

  • Kelly Rowland

  • Angel McCord

  • Kelly Bensimon

  • Hayden Panettiere

  • Naomi Watts

  • Kate Hudson

  • Courteney Cox

  • Ashlee Simpson

  • Stephanie Seymour

  • Julianne Hough

  • Miley Cyrus

  • Gwen Stefani

  • Lindsay Lohan

  • Rita Rusic

  • Denise Richards

  • Michelle Rodriguez

  • Katie Holmes

  • Aimee Teegarden

  • Tori Spelling

  • Paris Hilton

  • Christina Milian

  • Kelly Rowland

  • Julianne Hough

  • Tori Spelling

  • Stacy Keibler