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Outrage after police and fire officials watch man drown himself in San Francisco Bay

June 1, 2011 | 12:19 pm

Amid public outrage over the case, authorities have launched an investigation into why officials in one Bay Area city watched without taking action as a man intentionally drowned himself in San Francisco Bay on Memorial Day.

According to city officials and witnesses, police and firefighters in the city of Alameda did not attempt to rescue the man as he took his own life because they did not have water training. A bystander ended up wading into the water to pull the man's body out.

"We are absolutely going to do an investigation," Mayor Marie Gilmore told the San Jose Mercury News. "And we are planning to do it in as transparent a way as possible."

In the wake of the case, the city said it is changing its policy to allow water rescues. Some who witnessed the incident said they were surprised the firefighters didn't attempt to rescue the man.

"We expected to see at some point that there would be a concern for him," another witness, Gary Barlo, told KGO-TV.

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-- Shelby Grad

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