Teen Dies in 4th Drowning This Summer


Another person has died after drowning in Rockaway. This time, a teenage boy. This is the fourth drowning this summer that took place after lifeguards left for the day.

At around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30, first responders were called to Beach 59th Street as two teen boys were drowning. According to WCBS 880, as the boys were swept out in a riptide past the jetty, Firefighter Brian Levings of Engine 265 and Firefighter James Hayden of Ladder 121 rushed in and were able to rescue a 14-year-old boy. The boy was transported to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, where he was in stable condition.

They then continued to search for the second victim, an 18-year-old boy who disappeared beneath the surface. They were joined by other rescue crews including divers, helicopters, police, firefighters and others. They searched as the sky quickly grew darker, but after several hours, search operations ended, and it became a recovery mission.

At around 3:30 a.m., the body of John Munoz was found not too far from the jetty where he was last seen alive. According to the New York Post, both boys were friends from Brooklyn.

This is the fourth drowning death this summer. On the evening of June 17, a 25-year-old woman and a 26-year-old man were rescued from the waters of Riis Park and were transported to St. John’s Hospital. The woman later died. Just three weeks ago, on the night of July 9, an Inwood couple drowned on Beach 9th Street.

All four drownings occurred when lifeguards were off duty, sending a reminder that it’s important to enter the water only when lifeguards are present. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.