Two 13-year-old boys drowned in the Jamaica Bay Friday when a sandbar they were standing on was hit by water and collapsed, police said.
Rescue swimmers responded to a call about a potential drowning at 121st Street and Newport Avenue in the Rockaways shortly before noon Friday, according to the city fire department (FDNY). The boys, who were with a group of friends, were transported to Jamaica Hospital in critical condition and later died, police said. Police said there were no other victims.
The incident occurred on the bay side of the Rockaways, on National Parks Service land. The department said the kids were near the North Channel Bridge parking lot, where no lifeguards are stationed.
The deaths come just weeks after the city Parks Department announced a stretch of beach on the ocean side of the Rockaways would be closed through mid-July to combat erosion. Swimming is currently prohibited between Beach 86th Street and Beach 116th Street. Many have criticized the decision, including lifeguards who worried people would come anyway and swim unsupervised.