Alameda "Wade Out" Tries to Prove Point

Sunday, Jun 12, 2011  |  Updated 11:59 AM PDT
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Alameda Mayor Asks for Independent Investigaton in Drowning

Amy Gahran/Oakland Local

This photo was taken during the Memorial Day suicide.

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Alameda Mayor Asks for Independent Investigaton in Drowning

The town is upset about that lack of action by fire department when a man dies by drowning in the Bay.
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A group of Alameda residents waded into the water at Crown  Beach on Sunday morning to demonstrate the conditions rescuers would have  faced if they had gone in after a suicidal man who drowned on Memorial Day.

On Sunday morning, the tides at the beach were similar the ones  Raymond Zack, 53, entered on May 30, according to the organizers of the  Raymond Zack memorial "wade-out."

Zack went into the frigid water and eventually lost consciousness  while police and fire personnel watched from the shore, according to police  transcripts of the incident. The emergency responders waited about an hour  for a rescue boat that was unable to reach him and then a helicopter that  came too late.

Fire department policy prohibited rescuers from going in after  Zack because their water-rescue certification had lapsed, a deputy fire chief  said the day after the drowning. A good Samaritan pulled Zack from the water,  and he was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The participants of Sunday's wade-out wanted to show how easily  rescuers could have accessed him, organizers said.

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