A group of local college students were swimming, when one of their friends disappeared in the surf.
"We were searching for him for over an hour and 20 minutes when we switched to a recovery mode," said Chief Scott Kemins, with the Long Beach Fire Department.
Two other friends from the same group were pulled from the same water after getting into trouble.
NYPD officers and Parks Department workers tried in vain to keep people out of the waters of Rockaway Beach in Queens Wednesday afternoon.
More than a dozen swimmers were spotted at Beach 116th Street just after 12:30 p.m.
Dozens more were on the beach, a scene repeated on beaches across the city.
Swimming is not permitted on beaches in New York City until 10 a.m. Saturday, when lifeguards go on duty for the summer.
The lifeguards stay on duty at city beaches until Labor Day.
Until then, the Parks Department said people are allowed to stay on the beach, just not go in the water.
Upon hearing of people in the water in the Rockaways, police officers responded to assist the Parks Department.