Strong riptides cause tragedies in LI, Queens

Strong rip currents are being blamed for three separate incidents involving people who were swept out to sea in Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Friday. Two men disappeared in the waters of Long Beach shortly

News 12 Staff

Jul 27, 2008, 12:52 AM

Updated 5,838 days ago

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Strong rip currents are being blamed for three separate incidents involving people who were swept out to sea in Suffolk, Nassau and Queens Friday.
Two men disappeared in the waters of Long Beach shortly after lifeguards got off duty at 6 p.m.
Rescuers found one of the men, but he did not survive. The search for the second man, 19-year-old Osama Shafeeq, of Valley Stream, continued Saturday.
?This is still a rescue mission,? says Lt. Bruce Meyer, of the Long Beach Police Marine Unit. ?There is a possibility that he may have been swept out in the ocean. For that reason, there is a Coast Guard cutter offshore.?
Police say another swimmer disappeared in the waters off of Riis Park in Queens. In the waters off of Hampton Bays, another man was also killed.
?Whenever we have swells coming in from the south, we do get undertows, and it appears up and down the coast there was a number of strong undertows,? says Coast Guard Sector Commander Capt. Dan Ronan.
Chief Neil Metz, of Atlantic Beach Fire and Rescue, says the rip was so strong Friday night that a team of rescuers got caught in it for a short time.
?Actually, we thought they were in trouble, but because they stayed together and worked as a team, they all came out of the water OK,? he says.
Authorities remind people that if they are caught in a riptide, they should swim parallel to the shore, and when the riptide lets go, they can swim back in.


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