NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A teenage boy went for a swim with friends on Sunday and never resurfaced.
The search off Rockaway Beach was eventually suspended, CBS2’s Christina Fan reported.
CBS2 has learned there were on a number of people by the water and they all jumped into action to try and save the boy. They said the 15-year-old started waving his arms and shouting for help around 5:40 p.m. after venturing too far into the water. It was unclear if there were any lifeguards on duty at the time.
Members of the Coast Guard, FDNY, and NYPD all responded near Beach Channel Drive and Beach 88th Street. Police haven’t identified the swimmer yet, but Fan spoke to tearful friends who said he came to fish and play in the water and somehow got too deep. Several friends said they tried going in to save him, but could not rescue him in time.
Some even blamed themselves.
“The waves got so heavy, powerful out there, that he had to let him go. If he wouldn’t have done that, it would have been two that would’ve passed,” one woman said.
“My stepdad told me to get out of the water, and he was pulling him but he was resisting. I think he was having a seizure or he cramped his leg, so he had to let go — he had to let go — or else they both would have drowned,” another person said.
Witnesses said the boy may have ventured out where the boat dock ends. Some of them kayaked over to try to find him but had no luck.
The search is expected to resume early Monday morning.