15-year-old drowns at Sandy Hook Beach; multiple other swimmers rescued

Sonia Rincón Image
Monday, May 29, 2023
15-year-old drowns at Sandy Hook Beach
A 15-year-old drowned Sunday at Sandy Hook Beach and at least four others were rushed to the hospital. Sonia Rincon has the details.

SANDY HOOK, New Jersey (WABC) -- A 15-year-old drowned Sunday at Sandy Hook Beach and at least four others were rushed to the hospital.

A family is now in mourning, and those who witnessed the tragedy are shaken. While there are lifeguards at some beaches in Sandy Hook, the area where the drowning took place was unguarded and there was no swimming allowed.

"I saw them floating down. They were drifting. I didn't know there was trouble until they got over here," said Marie Macera.

Eyewitnesses saw the anxious crowd gather and first responders going in.

"People jumped in the water, took three of them out. And then there was one missing that they couldn't get," said Luis Sanchez.

As the first responders tried to help the first teens pulled out, witnesses heard a mother cry that she could not see her 15-year-old son in the surf. Then - someone spotted him.

"They all made a line with their hands to try to extend to get this kid to pull him out - but he had to be there a long time," Macera said.

"They pulled him out, they started giving him CPR, and they couldn't get him back," added Sanchez.

Five people were taken to hospitals, but the teen could not be revived, and was pronounced dead.

Regulars at Sandy Hook Beach say it hurts to start off the season this way after a deadly summer last year.

"They were all up and down the shore, because people don't listen and the rip current is so bad," said Deborah.

"When it's windy. The weather is like this - you get rip tides, and you can easily drown," Sanchez said.

Sanchez and his family say they did not come to swim - neither did Macera, who only stepped in the water.

"Even at that, I was feeling pulled," she said.

There is no word yet on the conditions of the other four young people who were pulled from the water.

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