A Staten Island girl died while swimming off Coney Island yesterday.
According to police, Takara McDuffy, 10, and a nine-year-old girl had been playing on a jetty near Stillwell Avenue when they fell in. The girls were pulled out by a lifeguard and other beachgoers at 6:30 p.m. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
One of them, Cory Murray, told WCBS 2, that he helped save the younger girl: "I tried to help both of them, at least. One dude—there was another gentleman helping me as well—he grabbed the girl. He was having some problems helping her back to the shore, so I told him to put her on my back and I’d bring her halfway, pretty much bring her to safety."
Murray said many people tried to help with CPR and added, "I’m not sure what exactly happened, but from the looks of it, it looks like the waves must have pushed them back to where they couldn’t come back to shore, because the waves were pretty heavy today." Takara was pronounced dead at Coney Island Hospital.
Borough President Eric Adams and City Council Member Mark Treyger will be asking for reforms to how the city approaches water safety, with Adams's office noting that it's the sixth drowning death this summer. The other deaths include a two-year-old who drowned in Prospect Park Lake, two 13-year-olds who died in the Bronx River, and a 21-year-old man who drowned in the East River.