Search suspended until further notice for two missing teens in water off Jacob Riis Park in Queens

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Coast Guard suspends search for Queens missing swimmers
Anthony Carlo has more from Jacob Riis Park.

ROCKAWAY PARK, Queens (WABC) -- With every passing wave, all hope seems to be swept away for a mother desperately waiting for her boy to be found.

"They said they were going to the beach with friends - I was at work, and I don't even know the rest," said Aminatu Noah.

Noah says her 16-year-old son, Eligah Chandler is one of the two teens who were swallowed up by a big wave at Jacob Riis Park on Friday. The other boy, police say, is 17 years old.

The heart-stopping moment happened shortly after lifeguards went off-duty at 6 p.m. for roughly 24 hours. There has been no sight of the boys as rescue crews comb the water.

Noah rushed to the beach once she got that dreaded call. She is now praying for a miracle.

"I got a call while I was waiting for the bus to come home," she said.

The search by air and sea resumed on Sunday, although it's all but certainly a recovery effort now.

The Coast Guard, FDNY and NYPD are pulling out every tool and are speaking to witnesses.

"The teens tried to jump up to kind of slice the wave, the wave was extremely high, and it went on top of them and sucked them over. We think that it might be a rip tide but that's still under investigation. They also stated that the teens did not come up after the wave went on top of them," said NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry.

Stormy weather is making for rough waters - ending the beach day early for many who witnessed day 2 of the search effort - and felt the strong current themselves.

"The water was rough - I mean, we were in there for an hour tops - had access to water for an hour tops, and then the lifeguards told us to come out," said Sri Taylor.

Late Saturday afternoon, the Coast Guard announced they were suspending their search efforts after combing 600 miles, writing,

"The decision to suspend a search is always difficult and weighs heavily on all involved. Our crews, along with our partner agencies, have conducted an exhaustive search, and our thoughts remain with the families during this difficult time."

A mother who needs all the help she can get.

"They were trying their best, but again, my main focus was to console her and make sure that she is fine," said family friend Ashanti Henry.

The Coast Guard says the search has been suspended until further notice.

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