Video shows Hawaii swimmer prior to rescue by Phoenix police officerPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Police Department released video of a woman rescued by an officer while on vacation in Hawaii.
Officer Guillermo Arrubla and his 19-year-old son were visiting Spitting Cave, a popular cliff diving location on the island of Oahu, on Saturday. Arrubla was enjoying watching others jump and had no plans on getting into the rough water himself until he spotted a 20-year-old woman in distress.
Police released video taken by Arrubla's son just before the officer climbed down the cliff and into the water. The video shows the woman jump into the water then almost immediately begin to struggle.
Next, her friend jumps in and makes it to the shore. She does not and he attempts to instruct her, but the current pulls her about a hundred yards offshore. She is not able to get out of the water and cries for help.
That's when Arrubla grabbed two life jackets and sprang into action.
"I knew I had just seconds before the next wave would crash in on me. I didn't want to get caught in between the rocks so I just sprinted out as fast as I could with the vest over my shoulder," he explained. "You could see she was exhausted at that point. She had been treading water approximately 20, 25 minutes at that point."
He swam to the woman and kept her afloat until lifeguards on jet skis could get to them.
The woman was not injured. Arrubla had a few cuts and bruises.
Arrubla had been a lifeguard and a very good swimmer before he joined law enforcement, according to Phoenix police spokesman Officer James Holmes.
On Sunday, Arrubla received an Award of Valor from the City and County of Honolulu Ocean Safety Division.
Public Information Officer Shayne Enright told the Phoenix Police Department, "We discourage our citizens from jumping off Spitting Cave. There are no life guards, the currents and tides are dangerous and people have lost their lives or been critically injured. You can drown very quickly there. Your officer definitely assisted in saving that woman's life."