2009-08-07 / Front Page

Dead In The Water! Water-Related Deaths Rock Peninsula From One End To The Other

Rip Current Takes Life Of Bronx Teen
By Howard Schwach

Dead In The Water!
Water-Related Deaths Rock Peninsula From One End To The Other
A 19-year-old Bronx man, who was reportedly swimming with his girlfriend on an unprotected beach at Beach 27 Street, lost his life on Saturday when the pair was pulled out to sea by a raging rip current.

Lifeguards reportedly spotted a young woman floundering in the surf just after 3 p.m. on August 1, and quickly pulled her from the waves, officials say. She told them that her boyfriend, Daniel O'Neill, 19, was still in the water.

O'Neill, who had just graduated from Mt. St. Michael's High School and was planning to attend John Jay College this fall, was pulled from the water about 15 minutes later, in cardiac arrest, officials say.

Both of the swimmers had been outside of designated swimming areas, where no lifeguards are assigned, according to officials.

A Parks Department spokesperson said, "On Saturday afternoon at around 2:50 p.m., a 19-year-old male and a female reportedly entered the water at Beach 27 Street — part of a section that is closed to swimming and where lifeguards are not on duty. They were swept east by the current and the female was seen by the lifeguards on duty at Beach 25 Street."

Officials added that lifeguards at that beach noticed at about 2 p.m. that the surf had become more intense and advised swimmers to remain close to shore.

Lifeguards administered CPR to O'Neill, but to no avail. An EMS ambulance transported him to St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Far Rockaway, where he was declared dead at 3:55 p.m.

Witnesses on the beach told The Wave that the lifeguards had worked hard to save the young man.

"They did CPR for a long time, and used a defibrillator on him, but he wasn't moving," one witness said.

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