Santa Cruz officials seek clarity on water rescues

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Updated: 1/28/2014 3:22 pm

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (AP) — Santa Cruz fire officials are reviewing their water rescue policies after a body boarder was dashed against the rocks and died despite warnings that the surf was dangerous and he should move.

Fire Battalion Chief Mike Venezio tells the Santa Cruz Sentinel that officials want clarity on whether rescuers can pull people out of the water against their will.

The man who died on Friday, James Zenk, of Mountain View, was approached by fire rescue swimmers on skis concerned about the high surf. Fire officials say the rescuers talked to him, but he assured them he was fine.

Zenk was dashed against the rocks just as the rescue swimmers started back to a wharf.

The swimmers went after him, but were also dashed against the rocks. They suffered minor injuries.

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