Man, 24, Drowns Swimming At Rockaway Beach

WCBS 880 Newsroom
May 22, 2020 - 6:49 pm
Rockaway Beach

Sean Adams


NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A 24-year-old man died Friday after he got caught in a strong current at Rockaway Beach, the NYPD said.

The incident happened when a group of three swimmers entered the water during the early afternoon. There were no lifeguards on duty as beaches are closed for the holiday weekend in New York City, as per Mayor Bill de Blasio’s order. 

The current swept up the swimmers and rescue teams entered the water at around 2:50 p.m., official said. 

Two swimmers were able to get out of the water on their own.

One of the swimmers, a 24-year-old man, was removed from the water near 92nd Street and was taken to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. 

Rockaway Beach, a city operated beach, will be closed to swimmers during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The NYPD and Mayor de Blasio has cautioned all residents and visitors not to go into the water during this time. 

“I need every New Yorker to heed the warning: there’s NO swimming on our beaches during this crisis. It is NOT safe,” the mayor wrote on Twitter. “We don’t want to fence off the beaches but we will if we have to.”

The mayor said the incident Friday was completely preventable. 

“We just lost a young man who got caught in a dangerous current in the Rockaways. Our hearts break for his family and his friends,” the mayor wrote on his Twitter. 

Walking, running, exercising and access to the sand and boardwalk are still permitted during regular park hours, according to the city.

The NYPD will increase its summer beach detail by 30%, according to de Blasio, and the Parks Department will have 159 staff members at the beaches to ensure nobody is going in the water.

Parking lots will close at 50% capacity as well, the mayor added.

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