"The next thing he was floating face down"

First responders and about 75 people watched the incident on Monday from a beach in Alameda, a city of about 75,000 people across from San Francisco.Witnesses included Amy Gahran, a reporter who photographed the scene from the beach for Oakland Local.

Interim Alameda Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi said that due to 2009 budget cuts his crews did not have the training or cold-water gear to go into the water.

“The incident yesterday was deeply regrettable,” he said Tuesday. “But I can also see it from our firefighters’ perspective. They’re standing there wanting to do something, but they are handcuffed by policy at that point.”