California police, firefighters watch as man drowns

Stephen Dunn / Getty Images / AFP
Rescue workers in Alameda, California were forced to watch as a man drowned after they realized they could not save him because they did not possess the proper certifications for water rescue required to legally do so.

Had the workers attempted a rescue without the legal certifications, they could have faced lawsuits leading to massive fines and career ending rulings.

The victim was a suicidal man who waded into the waters to take his own life. Onlookers, including police, firemen and other rescue workers were forced to watch from the water’s edge hopelessly.

In fact, because of certifications and laws, rescue workers could not even legally enter the water to retrieve the body after the man had died. The police asked an onlooker to do it for them.

Alameda is an island city surrounded by water. Yet, its emergency personal remains un-certified for water rescues. City officials are blaming budget cuts, but refused to give specifics and are investigating the matter.