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Teen rescued on Coney Island beach recovers from brink of death

Rescuers work to revive 19-year-old Bronx woman rescued from choppy surf of Coney Island Beach Wednesday. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

A 19-year-old Bronx girl has made a miraculous recovery after being pulled from the choppy waters of Coney Island by a Good Samaritan and NYPD School Safety officers yesterday afternoon, officials say.

It was only the third day on beach patrol for the School Safety Agents, who are normally assigned to keep order at the borough’s schools, closed because of COVID-19.

Councilman Mark Treyger hailed the first responders, school safety, precinct cops, firefighters and EMS for saving the woman’s life.

“Yes, she was discharged from the hospital this morning – they saved her life,” Treyger said. “I want to publicly acknowledge, school safety, precinct police, EMS and the Good Samaritan after this girl went into the water in an unauthorized area where she was going to drown. And Coney Island Hospital who did a great job – jut amazing work by emergency workers who are working so hard during this pandemic.”

The woman, whose name has not been released, was brought back to life by EMS and firefighters who immediately began CPR on the woman after she was pulled from the water. Police officials said “she was on the brink of death.”

She was rushed to Coney Island Hospital’s emergency room, where she was admitted in critical condition, but later reported stable, police officials said. 

The woman was pulled out of the water at Ocean Parkway in Coney Island by a Good Samaritan, Mike Perez of downtown Brooklyn, who just happened to have his wet suit on where he usually goes kite surfing and swimming. He is being hailed as a hero, along with school safety agents who rushed to the scene and helped pull to her shore.

Police believe the girl was emotionally disturbed because she apparently removed her pants and was walking around the beach before entering the water. She was observed by Perez splashing around in the water before disappearing in the surf.

Perez made his way along the rocky jetty when he spotted her foot in the surf, grabbed her, and started dragging her to shore. Waiting for him was School Safety officer Anthony Baisden, his third day assigned to the beach. He helped drag the woman to shore where they were also met by cops from the 60th Precinct.

EMS also arrived quickly and began CPR and were able to get a heartbeat, police say. The woman was loaded onto a police gator, a four-wheel drive all-terrain vehicle and driven to a waiting ambulance.

School Safety Officers began patrolling the boardwalk and beaches of Coney Island on Monday after the NYPD postponed the summer detail to save money and manpower for the Memorial Day weekend. Commissioner Dermot Shea said today that they are utilizing all their assets to make better use of manpower and school safety agents are part of the equation.

The city is in the process of deciding if the beaches will be open this summer and how that might look in the age of COVID-19. It was also unclear whether an NYPD detail will be assigned after Memorial Day, though officials privately expect that it will occur to help control massive crowds that are expected this summer despite COVID-19.

Leaders fear that if the beaches are closed and no lifeguards are on patrol, people will go swimming anyway and will drown.

Police commanders grill School Safety Agent Anthony Baisden after the rescue of girl from surf. (Photo by Todd Maisel)
Police drive the unconscious woman to the boardwalk after she was rescued. (Photo by Todd Maisel)

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