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The Raymond Zack Project

On Memorial Day, 2011 (May 30th), Alameda resident Raymond Zack apparently committed suicide by wading into the cold Bay waters off Robert Crown Memorial Beach and succumbing to extended exposure, by standing in about 5′ of water, while Alameda police officers and firefighters called to the scene watched but did not enter the water. 75 to 100 onlookers watched as well.

The Raymond Zack project will document findings of investigations into this tragic event from both Action Alameda News and citizen-contributors. We invite you to contribute by e-mailing your submissions to

Action Alameda News Stories on Raymond Zack

Unanswered Media Inquries

Zack Family Lawsuit Against City of Alameda

The case is RG12632015 in Alameda County Superior Court.

On February 11th, 2013, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Geroge C. Hernandez dismissed the Zack’s family lawsuit. Here is the ruling.

Excerpt of courtroom footage from the hearing on February 7th, 2013. Attorney Gregory Fox, representing the City of Alameda, in his summation to the court.


City Released Documents

Ruben Grijalva Report on Raymond Zack Incident
AFD Division Chief Didn’t Follow Through on Rescue Training
Alameda PD Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) Log
Alameda Police Timeline
AFD Incident Report
AFD CAD Log (Alameda County Fire Dispatch handles AFD Dispatch)
Consultant Proposal to Review Raymond Zack Incident
Second Medic Van Dispatch Incident Report

Alameda County Released Records

Alameda County fire dispatch handles dispatch for the City of Alameda Fire Department.

Alameda County FD Dispatch Radio Recordings
Alameda County FD Dispatch Telephone Recordings

Reader Submitted or Action Alameda News-Discovered Documents

Redacted Alameda Police Department Report on Raymond Zack, 1 of 2
Redacted Alameda Police Department Report on Raymond Zack, 2 of 2
Alameda PD Significant Incident Report
Councilmember Rob Bonta May 2010 Op-Ed/Campaign Letter Referencing Water Rescue Support
Firefighter Union President April 2009 Letter Referencing Water Rescue Support
Alameda Fire Department Water Rescue Policy
Excerpt of Detailed Alameda Fire EMS Budget, Showing Planning for Water Rescues
A Second Detailed Alameda Fire Department Budget, Showing Planning for Water Rescues
March 16th, 2009, Alameda Fire Department Water Rescue Policy Change Bulletin

Reader Contribution: Alameda Water Temperature, Day of the Incident
Reader Contribution: Also, when talking about water depth, the USCG said that the water was too shallow for one of their 25 foot patrol boats. Those boats, according to this document, have a draft of 39 inches, so I doubt the water could have been more than four feet deep.
Reader Contribution: Timeline comparing what happened on May 30th, 2011 to what could have happened.
Reader Contribution: Water Rescue Budget Timeline

Press Releases

Raw audio of citizen’s press conference on Raymond Zack investigation, October 11th, 2011
City of Alameda Press Release, June 29, 2011
City of Alameda Press Release, June 8, 2011
Alameda County FD Press Release, June 1, 2011
Alameda PD Press Release, May 31, 2011

Other News Media Stories on the Raymond Zack Incident

ABC 7, February 7, 2013
ABC 7, October 12, 2011
KTVU 2, October 11, 2011
ABC 7, October 10, 2011
L.A. Times Op-Ed, July 20, 2011
KTVU, June 22, 2011
ABC 7, June 21, 2011
CBS 5, June 12, 2011
Oakland Tribune, June 12, 2011
ABC 7, June 12, 2011
Oakland Tribune, June 11, 2011
Oakland Tribune, June 10, 2011
SF Chronicle/A.P., June 10, 2011
ABC 7, June 10, 2011
Alameda Journal, June 10, 2011
KTVU 2, June 9, 2011
San Leandro Times, June 9, 2011
East Bay Express, June 8, 2011
ABC 7 News, June 7, 2011, 11pm
KTVU 2, June 7, 2011
ABC 7 News, June 7, 2011, 5pm
East Bay Express, June 7, 2011
ABC 7 News, June 7, 2011 AM
KQED Forum, June 7, 2011
KQED News Blog, June 7, 2011
KTVU, June 7, 2011
Uncoverage, June 6, 2011
Oakland Tribune, June 5, 2011 (Woodall)
Oakland Tribune, June 5, 2011 (Hegarty)
San Jose Mercury News, June 5, 2011
Contra Costa Times, June 3, 2011
Fox News, June 4, 2011
CNN, June 1, 2011
NPR, June 1, 2011
NBC 3 Bay Area, June 1, 2011
KTVU 2, Oakland, June 1, 2011
KTVU 2, Oakland, May 31, 2011
ABC 7 San Francisco, May 30th, 2011

Contrasting Stories

Life guard breaks rules to respond to drowning man
Boy brought back to life after ocean drowning
Volunteer firefighter rescues man swept down falls
Coast Guard rescues man near San Mateo Bridge
San Leandro Police rescue suicidal woman
Eerily similar story in Benicia in 2000 – man lives.
Bay Bridge reopened after jumper talked down
Man threatening to jump from Bay Bridge talked down
Alameda Sun – Rescue at Sea
Officers pull man and dog from frigid waters

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