Police and firemen in Alameda, California watched a man drown on Monday after realizing they did not have proper certifications for water rescue, leaving them open to possible lawsuits if they attempted to save him.
The drowning victim, 53-year-old Raymond Zack, was apparently suicidal, according to a report from the scene. He waded out about 150 yards into cold waters off Crown Beach in Alameda and took about an hour to drown himself.
A crowd of about 75 gathered to watch the bizarre scene, which saw police and firemen just standing at shoreline watching helplessly. After the man had drowned, authorities couldn’t even go into the surf to retrieve the body. They instead recruited a passer-by for the job.