Teen Swimmer Drowns Near Far Rockaway Despite Rescue Efforts

By Theodore Parisienne and Wil Cruz  on June 12, 2012 1:38pm  | Updated on June 12, 2012 3:40pm

Akeem Craig, 14, died swimming in the water off Far Rockaway on Tues., June 12, 2012.
Akeem Craig, 14, died swimming in the water off Far Rockaway on Tues., June 12, 2012.
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Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

QUEENS — A 14-year-old boy swimming in the waters off Far Rockaway died Tuesday afternoon, despite desperate efforts by rescue divers to save him, officials said.

Akeem Craig and another 14-year-old were swimming in the waters off Seagirt Boulevard and Beach 19th Street about 12:30 p.m. when they suddenly went into distress, NYPD and FDNY officials said.

A civilian jumped into the waters before emergency crews arrived and pulled the other boy to safety, police said. His injuries were not life-threatening, a police spokesman said.

The bystander, who was not identified, did not appear to be hurt, police stated.

Craig, however, could not be found, prompting a frantic search that lasted for about 40 minutes, officials said.

"People over here were trying to save him, but they couldn't get out that far," said Dayquwas Gales, 14. "He went out too far and basically started drowning."

When FDNY divers finally reached Craig, they tried to resuscitate him before rushing him to St. John's Hospital, a spokesman said.

He was pronounced dead a short time later.

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