A volunteer coastguard who was nominated for an award for rescuing a schoolgirl from a cliff has resigned after a row over health and safety.
Paul Waugh climbed down to Faye Harrison, 13, who was hanging on by her fingertips and about to fall 200ft (60m) at Salburn-on-Sea, Teesside.
He did not wear safety equipment as it would have taken time to go back to his vehicle which was some distance away.
Mr Waugh was later told that he had broken rules.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said it was not looking for dead heroes.
It seems that they don't much object to dead schoolgirls, however.
The Skinningrove Coastguard Cliff Rescue Team was called out, along with the emergency services in January 2007, after three girls became trapped by rising tides.
Faye attempted to climb up the cliffs, but when a ledge gave way she was left hanging on to tufts of grass for 45 minutes.
Mr Waugh was one of three team members who arrived at the scene on foot, as their vehicle was trapped behind locked gates a field away.
They left safety equipment in the vehicle because they wanted to reach the scene as quickly as possible.
The 44-year-old from Skelton Green climbed down and held on to her for 30 minutes until she could be winched to safety.
He said: "I understand I broke a rule, but I felt it was a matter of having to because she only had minutes to live. She said that herself, she was planning her own funeral.
"When you see a little frightened face looking up at you, all you want to do is help.
"There's no way I'm going to stand back and watch a 13-year-old girl fall off a cliff."
Faye later nominated him for a life saver award as her "guardian angel".
However, Mr Waugh, who has been with the MCA for 13 years, was later told that the organisation had carried out an internal investigation into the team's handling of the incident.
He said: "I'm leaving now due to the hassle I've had over the last nine months. In fact, I've been depressed over it.
"Yes, fair enough, I broke a rule, but when I started my training a long time ago, I was told, one time, you'll work outside the box. And in this case I had to help her, she was ready to fall.
He added: "I'm very, very sad. It's a shame I'm having to go."
This case really does sum up what is wrong with this country. This man saved a child's life. But that doesn't matter, because he broke The Rules. And The Rules count for far more than the mere life of a child.
The PCSOs who stood by while ten-year-old Jordan Lyon drowned, and would not attempt to save him because that would be against The Rules are the new model citizens in today's Britain, for they obey, without ever troubling themselves with the consequences of their slavish obedience. People like Mr Waugh are the villains, for they can think for themselves, and respond to the exigencies of the moment, irrespective of the commands from above.