LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Four teens had to be rescued from a riptide Friday morning at Long Beach.
The Long Beach Fire Department said several swimmers were in distress at Riverside Boulevard and Ocean Beach Park.
“All of a sudden, we got a call that four people were sucked out by the rocks on Riverside,” Long Beach Patrol Chief Paul Gillespie told CBS2’s Marc Liverman.
Three of the four victims were found in the section of ocean near Riverside Boulevard, dangerously close to the rocks. The fourth victim was even farther out — she was sucked about 50 yards past the jetty.
She was holding onto a beach ball, but that got away from her before rescuers were able to save her.
“She lost the ball. By that time, the guys were there with surfboard. We put her on and we pulled her in,” said Gillespie.
All four of the victims — two boys and two girls, 15 and 16 years old — were taken to an area hospital in stable condition.
Lifeguard season hasn’t officially started there, but lifeguards were out preparing for their first day Saturday.
“This is the first rescue we had this year, and it was 20 minutes after we got on the beach,” Gillespie said. “They were lucky that we came on at that time, because that girl would have drowned out there, she would have been down.”
While lifeguards aren’t officially on duty yet, they’re reminding everyone to stay out of the water until protection is in place.
“I was swimming in the water and just having fun, and he said, ‘you have to get out, there’s no lifeguards, it’s not safe,’ and he said ‘there’s riptides,'” Westchester County resident Marnie Piazza said.
Gillespie said it’s been 13 years since the last drowning on Long Beach while lifeguards were on duty.
The rescue comes as sun worshipers were hitting the beach at the kick off of Memorial Day weekend.