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August 7, 2008

Several Swimmers Drown, Others Missing At New York Beach

The strong currents off of Long Island beach in New York are responsible for at least four deaths. One man was playing football in 3 to 5 feet of water and drowned. A ten year old girl was paying in waters off of Coney Island and was swept away and drowned. This number of people drowning back to back is unheard of in Long Island.

The rough seas are a result of a strong storm system that has caused 8 foot waves. Tropical Storm Cristobal mixed with a cold front have made the areas waters very dangerous. Authorities are warning people to not swim in the waters around Long Island unless they are experienced surf swimmers. The rip currents were moderate over the weekend which means that they were much stronger than usual.

One man who was either swimming or surfing died after he was spotted struggling just 150 yards from the shoreline. Six people total have been found dead but two others are missing and may also have been swept away in rough seas.

One of the missing a 23 year old man was swimming off of Jacob Riis Beach in Queens. He was swept away and after 23 hours of searching for him the Coast Guard called off the search. A 42 year old man drowned at a beach in East Quogue in Long Island. A 29 year old man from Wantagh died on his way to the hospital after being pulled for the water Saturday night. He had a pulse when he was pulled from the water but died of cardiac arrest. The police are stunned at the amount of people drowning all in one weekend.

With this in mind it is best for people to stay out of the waters. Find another way to stay cool if you live in the New York area. Go to a public swimming pool or visit friends that have a pool. The ocean is nothing to play around with. It’s deceptive smooth waves can easily turn into waves that you can not fight off. Even skilled swimmers can not fight vicious rip tides.

The good news is that firefighters were able to rescue some people. A fired who tried to save the 23 year old man swimming in Jacob Riis Beach was rescued by firefighters. A ten year old boy who was playing with the ten year old girl that was swept away was rescued and the authorities also saved another man who was swimming off Coney Island. Needless to say, you don’t want to be one of the people that needs to be saved. Stay away from the waters around Coney Island and Long Island in New York.

However, even with six deaths, the beaches will remain open. They say that the lifeguards know to move people away if they see rip tides. While that may be the case, it seems like it would be much easier to just close the beaches as a precautionary measure. The rip tides are expected to continue throughout Sunday.

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