Arizona visitor honored after risking his life to save a woman

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From the stunningly and beautiful cliffs to the deep blue sea and white foam, it’s no wonder people are drawn to the area off Portlock.

Thrill seekers also come here chancing their luck hoping the “Spitting Caves” won’t swallow them up.

On Saturday afternoon, Guillermo Arrubla thought about jumping in when he went to “Spitting Caves.”

“Once we got here, we saw how bad the current was so at that point, you know. I decided we’re not jumping, but we’re going to sit here and just spectate,” Arizona visitor Guillermo Arrubla said.

He watched the cliff jumpers and noticed one woman in particular who was having a hard time getting back up onto the rocks.

“When she tried to climb up onto the rocks, the current pushed on her then pulled her back out,” Arrubla said.

Arrubla said one of the woman’s friend’s jumped in but couldn’t get to her because the waves were just too powerful.

Guillermo made his way to the woman, climbing down the cliff with two life jackets in hand.

“Twenty years ago I used to be a lifeguard so I was confident in swimming in this water, so I put on the life jacket and grabbed the other one, and told him I’ll swim out to her and give her this life jacket,” Arrubla said.

When Arrubla got to the woman, he says she looked exhausted.

“She had been treading water approximately 25 minutes at that point,” Arrubla said.

When he got to the woman, Arrubla gave her the life jacket and they both waited for emergency crews to arrive.

“That’s all I kept thinking about, I was like, “Ah, I’m gonna get eaten by a shark here,” Arrubla said.

When help arrived, Arrubla and the woman made it back to dry land.

The woman he rescued is in her 20s and lives at Schofield.

“My thing was I saw a lot of people with cell phones out and I was like I’m not going to sit here and watch a young girl drown,” Arrubla said.

On Sunday, city lifeguards presented Guillermo with an award.

“We gave the award because a good citizen risked his own life to save the life of another,” Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services Division Lt. Jr Sloane said.

Guillermo is a police officer in Phoenix, Arizona and puts his life at risk to protect the public on a daily basis.

In addition to taking home his award, he’s also leaving with a few cuts he got while rescuing the woman.

“When we got to there she wanted to give me a hug but I was bleeding I know people and so I gave her a half hug and she was like thank you so much,” Arrubla said.

‘Spitting Caves’ is not manned by lifeguards and they discourage people from swimming there in the first place.

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