ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens — A man who was pulled out by a strong current at a Queens beach drowned Friday afternoon, officials say.
The incident happened at Rockaway Beach where rescuers pulled a man from the water near Beach 91st Street.
Officials say three men in their early 20s were in the water when the current got too strong and they got pulled. Two were able to help each other out, but the third was pulled under.
The victim was rushed to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Red flags are up everywhere on city beaches and lifeguards would not have started until Saturday under the city’s traditional summer schedule.
In a tweet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed his condolences to family and friends of the victim, but urged New Yorkers to heed the warning that there is no swimming allowed on city beaches.
I need every New Yorker to heed the warning: there’s NO swimming on our beaches during this crisis. It is NOT safe.
We don’t want want to fence off the beaches but we will if we have to.
We’ll have extra Parks and NYPD walking the beaches this weekend to keep New Yorkers safe. https://t.co/hd5JixxcTD
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 22, 2020
Council Member Donovan Richards also expressed his thoughts on the situation via Twitter.
A drowning on Rockaway Beach already. God help us all.
— Donovan Richards (@DRichards13) May 22, 2020