2006-10-13 / Community

Fisherman Missing After Slip From Jetty

Waves continue to wash over the jetty as emergency personnel line the beach.
Waves continue to wash over the jetty as emergency personnel line the beach. A 21-year-old fisherman who is presumed drowned remained missing at press time, five days after a wave washed him off the Rockaway Point Jetty.

Karl Heinzen, a Park Slope, Brooklyn resident and college student, disappeared last Sunday morning, shortly after a wave caused him to slip from the jetty - a long, jagged stretch of rocks that, in areas, is covered with moss and can be very slippery.

Heinzen's father and fishing partner, Jerome, tried to help the young man to no avail. The Dorothy B VIII, a fishing boat that Heinzen worked aboard in high school, was in the area and tried to throw him a lifeline. Jerome told The New York Times that his son, may have still had a pair of hip-waders on and, by then, lacked the strength to reach it.

Emergency workers from the New York City Police and Fire Departments, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Park Police and the Rockaway Point Volunteer Fire Department searched for the man from the land, sea and air for hours on Sunday and again on Monday.

Heinzen's family members watch from the jetty as rescue boats search the water off Rockaway Point. Heinzen's family members watch from the jetty as rescue boats search the water off Rockaway Point. Shortly after the accident, waves could be seen rolling over the jetty, kicking up white bursts of water, as they barreled towards the shore.

A sign posted at the jetty, located at the western tip of the peninsula, warns people to "exercise extreme caution on this jetty" because "people have been seriously injured or have died at this location." The sign further states that "rocks are uneven and slippery" and that "high tides, storms or other conditions result in over wash of the rocks."

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