Body Of Brooklyn Youth Recovered Saturday
A spokesperson for the medical examiner said that an autopsy showed that McLeish died as the result of an accidental drowning.
McLeish and two friends were still in the water long after the lifeguards went off duty at 6 p.m., his friends say.
“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.”
“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.
The search turned into a recovery effort and was then called off on Wednesday evening.
McLeish’s drowning was the first of the year on the Rockaway peninsula. Last year, there were seven waterrelated deaths along the Rockaway shoreline.