Officials push for beach safety in response to Coney Island, Queens teen drownings

Authorities are reminding beachgoers of safe swimming as two teenagers drowned during separate incidents at New York City beaches.
The first teen, a 15-year-old, drowned at Coney Island. As the search for his body progressed, a 19-year-old swimmer, who went missing in the water on Friday at Jacob Riis Park Beach in Queens, was found dead. Police identified the 19-year-old as Amadou Thiam of Brooklyn.
A second body was found on the beach at Coney Island late Saturday night. The medical examiner hasn’t confirmed the identity of the body yet, but it was in the same area where a 15-year-old boy, who politicians say lived in a Bronx shelter, disappeared into the water Thursday.
The drownings are prompting a renewed push for safety. New York city officials encourage people to only swim in open sections of the beach where lifeguards are on duty between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
If a red flag is flying, the beach is closed.
The Parks Department advises those caught in a rip current to remain calm and swim parallel to shore, break away from the current and then swim back to shore.
The latest drownings come as the city continues to see a lifeguard shortage. During times like this, officials say they determine which beaches are open based on staffing headcounts.