Lazaro Ortega helped to save Jenna M. Sarr from drowning, Laguna Beach, California, July 14, 2001. While on a Pacific Ocean beach, Jenna, 7, was knocked down by a wave and pulled into the surf. Ortega, 22, off-duty deputy sheriff, was visiting the beach and saw her struggling in the rough water. He waded and swam to her, then struggled briefly with her, during which they submerged. Surfacing, Ortega swam toward shore, pushing Jenna, but progress was difficult in the turbulent water. Another man entered the surf, swam to them, and took Jenna to the beach, then returned with a buoy and towed Ortega to wadable water. Jenna and Ortega required hospital treatment after the rescue. The following day, Ortega was hospitalized for continuing effects of having nearly drowned, and he was detained for three days. He required about six weeks of recovery.
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