Organizers Declare Raymond Zack Memorial "Wade-out" a Success
Jun 13, 2011 | Posted by: bayfarm
Local organizers here of a memorial "wade-out" into the waters off Robert Crown Memorial Beach yesterday, intended to demonstrate that Raymond Zack might have been saved by authorities on Memorial Day, have declared the exercise a success.
Eleven swimmers, including some in their sixties, walked off-shore 150 yards, as measure by a floating rope, in 63F water, standing approximately as far from shore as Raymond Zack did for an hour on May 30th, when he collapsed and died while Alameda police and firefighters watched without entering the water. Organizers timed their event to tide tables that predicted water conditions similar to those on the beach the day that Zack died, and had a retired Oakland firefighter call out actions that would normally be appropriate for first responders in such a situation, including calling on mutual aid from agencies in adjoining districts.
Alameda resident Rosemary McNally, who helped organize members of a swim club to wade into the water said, "All I wanted to do is prove that the water here is extremely shallow and calm. If they [Alameda public safety agencies] were not equipped or trained to rescue him, they should have called the appropriate agencies immediately and the appropriate agencies would have known how to save him."
Event organizer Liz Williams said, "We proved today beyond a shadow of a doubt that it would have been possible to save Raymond Zack on Memorial Day. It was surprising to see just close he really was, even at 150 yards out, to the shore. Photographs make it look like he was much farther out, but it was still only about 5 feet of water."
Event organizers are looking forward next to attending the June 21st Alameda City Council meeting, where they expect the Council will vote on a new contract for Alameda firefighters.
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