Brooklyn Youth Dies In Riis Park Surf
A 14-year-old Mill Basin boy was washed off a sand dune by a raging rip current on Tuesday evening and was still missing as The Wave went to press.
“We were jumping over the waves and having a good time, when a tall wave pulled us under,” said Dervon Humphrey, 16, who was with McLeish in the water. “I don’t think he knew how to swim, but he wanted to go into the water with the rest of us. I was trying to hold him up, but the waves pulled him out. He was screaming for help.”
Several people on the beach, including one park ranger, shed their clothing and jumped into the water in an attempt to rescue the young man.
“He went under and then came up choking. Then, he went down again and he was further out. [The rescuers] just could not reach him. He just kept coming up and yelling for help and then going under again,” one young woman on the beach, who declined to give her name, told a Wave reporter.
Fire department rescue swimmers and the NYPD aviation unit quickly responded and set up search grids in the fast-moving surf.
By dark, however, they still were not able to find the missing youth and the search was suspended until Wednesday morning.
This was the first recorded drowning on the Rockaway peninsula this year, although Long Beach, just to the east of Rockaway on the Atlantic Ocean shore, has seen at least three drownings and several water rescues this beach season.