LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A recovery effort was underway Tuesday evening after a boy reportedly went missing while swimming in the waters off of Long Island.
Authorities say the 8-year-old was last seen swimming off the coast of Long Beach shortly before 6 p.m.
“It’s a big body of water to try to find one victim,” Long Beach Fire Commissioner Scott Kemins said. “The conditions aren’t great in the water, there is very low visibility so it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Kemins says the child had been in the water with his 11-year-old brother. The older sibling was rescued and taken to an area hospital in stable condition.
Chopper 2 was over the area as U.S. Coast Guard crews assisted the Nassau County Police Department in the search. Lifeguards linked arms to form a human chain as they searched the water near a jetty. Others scoured the water using jet skis, boats, and a helicopter.
It wasn’t immediately known if the boys were at the beach with family members or friends, but Kemins says the area they were in is extremely dangerous.
“There’s a rip current, it’s the Atlantic Ocean, and like I said, it’s dangerous,” he said. “They went in the water near the jetties and that’s the most dangerous place to go in the water.”
Despite the warning signs, residents say more safeguards should be put in place.
“This is not a swimming beach,” he said. “There should be more patrol here… this is every year, when is it going to stop?”
Officials say Saturday is the first day of full-time lifeguards and as a result, there were none on duty Tuesday.
“I think you have to watch your children,” beach goer Carol Hofman said. “Whether or not there’s a lifeguard, I do not take my eyes off my children.”
NYPD Special Operations’ scuba team also assisted in the search late Tuesday.
If anyone has further information regarding this case, please call Coast Guard Sector Long Island Sound at 203-468-4401.