This is the moment a Benidorm lifeguard battles his way to a Ukrainian tourist lying face-down in the sea and being buffeted against the rocks by strong waves after she fell from a cliff while taking a selfie.
The 26-year-old Ukrainian woman was rescued off the coast of Benidorm in the Spanish province of Alicante on 14th September, and she is reportedly fighting for her life in hospital.
According to the news site Telecinco, the woman slipped and fell from a cliff in the area of Balcon del Mar while taking a selfie.
Hero lifeguard Alejandro Ortiz, who is seen risking his life to reach the unconscious woman in the choppy sea in the footage, told reporters after the incident: “The notice came to us through 112 (emergency services) and we immediately took the boat out and arrived at the scene in less than two minutes.”
In the first video, Ortiz is seen battling his way through the strong waves to reach the woman, unconscious and face-down in the water and being buffeted against the rocks.
The second clip shows Ortiz regaining hold of the woman with the help of a colleague after apparently losing her while trying to move away from the rocks.
Ortiz said: “The situation was very complicated. There were red flags and the waves prevented me from reaching the woman.
“My only objective was to reach her and save her life, I didn’t think of anything else.”
The lifeguard was so focussed on trying to save the Ukrainian woman that he does not remember how he sustained the many bruises and scratches on his body that he showed to reporters afterwards.
He told local media: “That is the beauty of this job, we are not colleagues, we are a family. If one enters, we all enter.”
According to reports, four rescuers were needed to eventually lift the tourist onboard the rescue boat, where they immediately carried out CPR on the victim, who was unconscious but still alive.
The woman has since been admitted at the General University Hospital of Alicante where, according to the latest reports, her condition has not improved and she remains in a critical condition due to the multiple blows she suffered and the amount of time spent underwater.