Police officer who saved woman in Hawaii tells heroic tale - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Police officer who saved woman in Hawaii tells heroic tale

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PHOENIX -

A Phoenix Police officer on vacation in Hawaii saved a woman's life. That woman almost drowned after jumping 60-feet off a cliff.

The officer's son got cell phone video of the woman as she struggled to swim against the current.

We talked to that officer and his family. They're back home.

Officer Guillermo Arrubla went to check out a popular cliff jumping spot. He used to be a lifeguard, and knows how to swim really well. But when he saw the cliff he knew it was too dangerous to jump.

A 21-year-old woman took her chances and would have drowned had he not rescued her.

Seconds after the woman jumped off the cliff, she screamed for help. Caught in the current, she was sucked out to sea.

"I couldn't sit there and just watch somebody drown it's not in my nature," says Arrubla.

Arrubla saw the swimmer struggling to stay afloat. It would be at least 20-minutes before rescue crews get there.

"I have to save this person and that was my mindset."

Officer Arrubla decided to crawl down the rocks and get into the water, carrying two life jackets.

"I knew it was going to be hard but I didn't know it was going to be that hard."

He risked his life to swim to her. He gave her a life jacket and held her close, and waited to be rescued.

"I look at my hand and it's kind of covered in blood and I start freaking out, you know there are sharks in this water."

His hands and feet were cut by the reef. Life guards arrived and used a jet ski to rescue them.

"It was bleeding up until yesterday."

Officer Arrubla is now back home sharing his story, with his 14- and 7-year-old sons by his side.

"I wasn't surprised that's just who he is," says son Rafael Arrubla.

"He's awesome and he's really helpful," says son Jaden.

Born in Colombia, Officer Arrubla caught meningitis and was in a coma for the first year of his life before his family moved to New York City. He struggled growing up.

"My way of giving back is by doing good because I was fortunate enough to overcome all of that. When you go above and beyond that's how I judge somebody's character. You do the things you're not expected to do."

Officer Arrubla was given an award by city of Honolulu.

As for the woman, Arrubla said she only thanked him after lifeguards suggested it. Then she took off with her friends.

Follow this story: Off-duty Phoenix Police officer rescues Hawaii swimmer in distress

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