Alameda Firefighters Rescue Swimmer in Distress

Department came under scrutiny in 2011 for not rescuing a drowning person.


PETER HEGARTY, Contra Costa Times | | Wednesday, May 9, 2012


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Calif. Fire and Police Watch as Man Drowns

Authorities are now trying to explain why they had no choice but to stand on the shoreline.
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ALAMEDA - Firefighters rescued a swimmer who was in distress off Robert Crown Memorial State Beach Monday afternoon.

JEMS: California Man Drowns While Fire and Police Watch; Bystander Pulls Man to Shore

The swimmer, whose name and age were not immediately available, was transported to Alameda Hospital. Their condition also was not available.

The rescue of the swimmer comes as the Alameda Fire Department has been revamping its land-water rescue program since the suicidal death of Raymond Zack, 52, at the beach last Memorial Day.

Firefighters came under stinging public criticism after they remained on shore as Zack waded farther into San Francisco Bay, saying they were not certified in land-water rescue and did not have a boat that could maneuver in the shallow water.

A rescue boat has since been put into service and at least 21 firefighters have undergone training as lifeguards since Zack's death. Firefighters have also responded to at least a dozen water emergencies since the drowning.

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Calif. Fire and Police Watch as Man Drowns

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