The body of a teenager was found the day after he went missing while swimming at
Smith Point Beach with his girlfriend without lifeguards present, Suffolk County Parks officials said Monday.
Jovani White, 19, was spotted by a park ranger about 20 feet offshore around 6:40 a.m., officials said. The ranger immediately ran into the water and pulled the man’s body out.
Jovani White, 19, was spotted by a park ranger about 20 feet offshore around 6:40 a.m., officials said. The ranger immediately ran into the water, and pulled the man’s body out.
The Queens teen was reported missing exactly 12 hours before, on Sunday evening.
White and his girlfriend were swimming after lifeguards went home at 5 p.m. when he slipped under the water due to rip tides, Suffolk officials said.
The girlfriend was rescued from the water, and White was reported missing.
When officials were notified of White’s disappearance, Suffolk park ranger Hailey Ruymaker ran two miles down the shore attempting to follow the teen, but lost sight of him.
Ruymaker was finishing her shift at the time, but decided to work overnight trying to locate White, working 23 hours in all, officials noted.
White’s death is believed to be the first drowning this year in the area.
The Coast Guard assisted local agencies in the search, which included 10 miles of coastline.
Also on Sunday, a woman went missing while swimming at the Jersey Shore.
The search for Zuzana Oravcova, 24, has since been suspended, and police say a body was found in Toms River, but has not yet been identified as the missing woman.
People are always advised against swimming without lifeguards present, and over the weekend, there was an increased risk of rip currents.
Rip currents are expected to be moderate in the New York area Monday, with a surf height of 2 to 3 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
Anyone caught in a rip current is advised not to fight against it, but rather let it take you out, then swim sideways. You can also float on your back to reserve energy.
Anyone with information is urged to contact watchstanders at Sector Long Island Sound at 203-468-4401.