Missing swimmers Coney Island: Authorities suspend search for 15-year-old boy as brother rescued from drowning

Missing swimmers Coney Island.

Authorities in Coney Island made an announcement on Friday, July 28, stating that they have halted the search for a 15-year-old swimmer who was reported missing on Thursday, July 27.

The incident occurred when the boy and his 16-year-old brother were swimming near the beach and encountered difficulties with the currents.

While the three men present managed to rescue the 16-year-old sibling, unfortunately, they were unable to locate the younger brother.

An image of  Coney Island: The boy's brother was rescued by three good samaritans who were at the scene
Missing swimmers Coney Island: The boy’s brother was rescued by three good samaritans who were at the scene
Credit: (NYC Parks)

According to NBC, rescue teams in Coney Island conducted an extensive search for the 15-year-old swimmer for several hours.

The search operation involved the efforts of lifeguards, FDNY divers, and helicopters, which were deployed to scour the area from above the beach.

Fortunately, the 16-year-old sibling who was rescued received medical attention from EMS and was subsequently discharged as he did not sustain any significant injuries.

Timeline of the July Coney Island drowning incident

The drowning incident at Coney Island took place around 12:40 pm on Thursday, July 27.

Eyewitnesses at the beach reported observing the two teenagers jumping into the waves, but unfortunately, they seemed to be caught in a powerful current.

Notably, the area where the incident occurred was restricted for swimming, and consequently, there were no lifeguards present to provide assistance.

Fernando Aguerto, a witness present at the scene, shared his account with CBS reporters. He mentioned that he had gone to Coney Island to sunbathe when he noticed the boys and the unfolding situation.

“The kids were playing in the water. But I told them, I warned them, the water’s very, very dangerous, don’t play with the water. But they didn’t say nothing to me. They continued jumping and playing. Then I saw everybody screaming.”

According to Aguerto’s account, he observed that the boys appeared to struggle while swimming, and shortly thereafter, the currents carried them away.

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In response, Aguerto and two other sunbathers took action to rescue the 16-year-old, pulling him safely back to shore.

However, they were unable to reach the 15-year-old, as he had been swept too far away.

One of the three rescuers, Benjamin Colon, a local father from Coney Island, recounted his efforts to save the teenager.

Despite attempting to reach the 15-year-old by navigating a rocky area, he described losing sight of him as he was pulled under the water.

John McLean, the third rescuer who happened to be a retired New York firefighter, expressed his perspective on the incident.

He suggested that the powerful currents might have left the teens too exhausted to effectively fight against them.

McLean said:

“Then we went back and started looking and see where he was located, but we lost contact with him. We didn’t see him at all. He was spent, he was exhausted, he was ready to drown, just about ready to drown. We got him in time. He was in shock. I believe it was his brother out there.”

Authorities have issued a cautionary advisory to all visitors of local beaches, urging them to be vigilant and mindful of the presence of strong currents.

In light of recent events, officials have emphasized that all swimmers should strictly adhere to safety guidelines and stay away from restricted zones while at the beach.

This measure is aimed at ensuring the well-being and security of beachgoers.