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Alameda Gets New Rescue Boat Following Controversial Response To Drowning

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Raymond Zack drowned 50 feet offshore at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda on May 30, 2011 as firefighters and police watched.

Raymond Zack drowned 50 feet offshore at Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda on May 30, 2011 as firefighters and police watched.

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ALAMEDA (CBS/AP) – Alameda officials have bought a second rescue boat, as they try to improve the island city’s water rescue capabilities following the drowning of a suicidal man while authorities watched from the shore.

Interim Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi said his department bought the second boat—a 15-foot inflatable craft—on Monday for about $12,000.

The city has reinstated its water rescue program since 52-year-old Raymond Zack’s death on Memorial Day.

D’Orazi has said firefighters were unable to help Zack when he waded into the waters off Crown Beach because the city’s water rescue program had been defunded. Zack stood neck-deep in the frigid waters for about a half hour before his body was recovered by a bystander.

The department purchased the first boat in June. It has also trained about 60 firefighters in either boat operation or rescue swimming.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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