2007-08-10 / Front Page

Teen Dies At Hospital After Frantic Rescue Attempt

By Howard Schwach

A17-year-old Richmond Hill youth died at Schneider's Children's Hospital in Floral Park two days after he was pulled from the Rockaway surf by an off-duty lifeguard.

Emergency medical technicians bring Angel to Peninsula Hospital Center after his immersion on Beach 116 Street. He later died at Schneider's Children's Hospital. Emergency medical technicians bring Angel to Peninsula Hospital Center after his immersion on Beach 116 Street. He later died at Schneider's Children's Hospital. Sources say that at about 1:45 p.m. on Friday, August 3, the youth, identified only as Angel, went into the water at Beach 116 Street. He had gone to the beach with friends, who worried when they could no longer see him in the water.

They alerted lifeguards and several of the guards went into the water looking for the teen.

An off-duty lifeguard who joined the search reportedly felt Angel just under the surface and pulled him onto the beach.

Angel was unconscious and unresponsive, but lifeguards and EMS crewmembers stationed at Beach 116 Street revived him.

"He was breathing and he had a pulse when we transported him," said one EMT who was at the scene, but asked not to be identified.

Emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and members of the emergency medical service, watch as the victim is loaded into an ambulance. Workers credited the beach mat on Beach 116 Street with expediting the rescue attempt. Emergency responders, including police officers, firefighters and members of the emergency medical service, watch as the victim is loaded into an ambulance. Workers credited the beach mat on Beach 116 Street with expediting the rescue attempt. "The beach mat from the boardwalk to the water was a huge help. We got the gurney down to the beach fast and we got him back to the [ambulance] even faster."

Police department sources said that they had called in a helicopter to medivac the teen to the hospital, but that was no longer necessary once he was breathing.

Angel was transported to the Peninsula Hospital Center, where he was stabilized and then transported by ambulance to the Schneider's Children's Hospital at Long Island Jewish Hospital in Floral Park, where he reportedly died on Sunday.

Abigail Lootens, a spokesperson for the New York City Department of Parks, declined The Wave's request to interview the lifeguards involved in the rescue attempt, but did issue a statement that read, "We commend our lifeguards for their quick and determined efforts in the recent rescue at Beach 116 Street. Their skills and training, which is a testament to the Municipal Lifeguard Training Program, enable them to provide lifesaving actions until the victim could be transported to the hospital by emergency care personnel. The courage and discipline they demonstrated exemplifies the lifeguards throughout the city, who dedicate themselves to keeping beachgoers safe."

The EMT who witnessed the rescue was more succinct.

"The lifeguards did a hell of a job getting him out of the water and bringing him back," he said. "Too bad there was just too much damage to sustain him."

Officials at Schneider's Children's Hospital cited the HIPPA law, which does not allow them to provide patient information without the family's permission.

Angel's family could not be reached for comment.

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