Island Park lifeguards save 2 children trapped in strong currents

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ISLAND PARK -

Lifeguards at Island Park's Masone Beach say they saved two children in the last two weeks alone.

Teen lifeguards Billy Mingione and TJ Reichel say strong currents were to blame. They saved a boy and a girl in separate incidents. 

"The current just swept him out of the dock," says Mingione. "That's when I blew the whistle and ran right in."

"There was a current that day…you could tell she couldn't make it the full way," says Reichel. 

In both cases, the lifeguards sprang into action. They say they had only seconds to get to the children before it was too late. 

"A couple of seconds longer and he would've been gone," said Mingione. "He would have been stuck under the dock, under the pier, and it would be impossible."

Island Park Mayor Michael McGinty says he's proud of the lifeguards for saving two young lives. 

"They're heroic. They're not afraid to do the right thing...they bring heart and soul to this job," says McGinty. 

Lifeguards say swimmers should swim parallel to the beach if caught in a rip current. They also say not to swim against the current.

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