2010-07-16 / Top Stories

Bronx Man Second Drowning Victim

8:30 P.M. Dip Proves Fatal
By Howard Schwach

An evening dip turned tragic when a Bronx man drowned on July 10 as his horrified girlfriend looked on.

Oscar Cruz, 22, of Webster Avenue, and his longtime sweetheart, Diana Sanchez, waded into the water off Beach 116 Street at about 8:30 pm., hours after the lifeguards went off duty.

An eyewitness said that a big wave toppled the two.

“They both went under,” the eyewitness said.

“She came up and he didn’t. She was screaming for help.”

A number of people who were on the beach at the time went into the water, searching for the Bronx man.

It took Fire Department personnel and civilians more than 15 minutes to find his body and drag him to the beach.

Sources say that he was unconscious and unresponsive when he was pulled up on the beach.

He was transported to the Peninsula Hospital Center, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Cruz lived with his grandmother and great-aunt in the Claremont section of the Bronx.

He was the second person to drown in waters off the Rockaway peninsula this summer.

Police recovered the body of Scott McLeish, 14, on July 3 after he had been swept out to sea by a rip current at Riis Park earlier that week.

Seven people died in water-related incidents last summer.

All told, more than 25 people have drowned in the waters bordering the Rockaway peninsula in the last decade.

Parks officials warn that people should not go into the water when lifeguards are not on duty.

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