ROCKAWAY PARK (WABC) -- Witnesses say there was little to no warning before helicopters and first responders suddenly swarmed the beach at Jacob Riis Park Saturday afternoon desperately searching for 5-year-old Ezekiel Gray. Beachgoers say the boy was with family when he somehow managed to slip away.
"A lot of parents, a lot of people on the beach - beachgoers were looking for him," says eyewitness Katrina Graham.
Police say an on-duty lifeguard eventually located the small child in the water, and brought him to shore, but when medics arrived he was unconscious and unresponsive.
"They were trying hard to revive him - they were unsuccessful," says Angela Correa, "they brought him to the boardwalk, tried again - he was lifeless."
"They put him on a stretcher, and they were trying to revive him. They really tried, but it was too late," adds Lilly Gonzalez.
After several attempts to revive him on scene, medics rushed the boy to Brookdale Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. The sudden and tragic loss has now has many offering their condolences to the family, and questioning if more could have been done to prevent this.
The medical examiner will now determine the official cause of death.
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