Mayor urges no swimming at NYC beaches after man drowns at Rockaway Beach

rockaway beach drowning.jpeg
Posted at 8:49 AM, May 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-23 08:53:20-04

ROCKAWAY BEACH, Queens — Mayor Bill de Blasio reiterated his warning Friday evening not to go swimming at New York City beaches this weekend after a 24-year-old man drowned at Rockaway Beach.

First responders were called to the beach around 2:50 p.m. for reports of three swimmers in the water, officials said.

Two of the swimmers were able to get out on their own, but the third man was pulled from the water near 92nd Street. He died at a nearby hospital, officials said.

“We just lost a young man who got caught in a dangerous current in the Rockaways. Our hearts break for his family and his friends,” de Blasio tweeted Friday evening. “I need every New Yorker to heed the warning: there’s NO swimming on our beaches during this crisis. It is NOT safe.”

There are no lifeguards on duty since the beaches are closed to swimming.

The NYPD and Parks Department are stepping up patrols at city beaches, which are only open for walking, running, exercising, and access to the sand and boardwalk because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Memorial Day weekend traditionally would usher in the beginning of beach season for New York City. Instead, de Blasio warned that if people continue to break the no swimming rule, fencing would be implemented to control access to the shore.

“We don’t want to fence off the beaches but we will if we have to,” he tweeted Friday.