A 24-year-old man drowned in the waters off Rockaway Beach on Friday afternoon — setting an ominous tone for what could be a dangerous Memorial Day weekend on the city’s lifeguard-less beaches.
The unidentified man was pulled from the waters off of Beach 91st Street just hours after Mayor Bill de Blasio detailed plans to open the city’s beaches for people to play on the sand, but also begged them to not go in the water.
A witness who shot cellphone video of first responders hauling the victim expressed fear that pleas to stay on land won’t be heard, and will lead to tragedy.
“Why are there no lifeguards? People are on the beach and allowed on the sand but not in the water. This is going to happen over and over,” the witness told The Post.
“If there were lifeguards, we wouldn’t have had to call in helicopters and fire trucks. People were freaked out, saying ‘Oh my gosh, there’s no one to help.’”
Cops said the unidentified man and at least one other person had been jumping into the water.
The man was pulled from the water around 2:50 p.m. and was rushed to St. John’s Hospital in critical condition, cops said.
He couldn’t be revived and was pronounced dead around 3:40 p.m., cops said.
Sadly this didn't take long at all that someone had to die to expose how moronic and lethal de Blasio's pandemic policy decisions have been. As if not putting lifeguards out there would discourage people from going to the beach. Now 20 people have to do the job of what one or two would have done to save this guy.
Maybe if the distancing and activity bans on the beach included surfers and not favorably exempted them it wouldn't have encouraged this person (or even anyone else) from going into the ocean for a dip.