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Teen Drowns at Far Rockaway Beach Known for Dangerous Currents, NYPD Says

By Katie Honan | August 24, 2017 7:53am
 Keith Johnson, 19, drowned off of Beach 17th Street, police said. 
Keith Johnson, 19, drowned off of Beach 17th Street, police said. 
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NYPD

FAR ROCKAWAY — A Bronx teen drowned Wednesday evening while swimming in waters off of a Far Rockaway beach known for its dangerous currents, officials said.

Keith Johnson, 19, went into the ocean near Beach 17th Street at 6:30 p.m., half an hour after lifeguards went off duty, police said.

He didn't resurface, prompting a search from FDNY and NYPD divers and aviation units, officials said.

NYPD rescuers found his body around two hours after he went missing, and he was pronounced dead at St. John's Hospital, police said.

The ocean at Beach 17th Street is known as one of the peninsula's most dangerous, with calm waters masking a fast-moving current that pushes toward the nearby East Rockaway Inlet.

In 2015, a local water safety activist planted trees as a memorial to 10 swimmers who drowned off of the nearby beaches and in the "killer" channel. 

Police are still investigating Wednesday's drowning.