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Child drowns in Coney Island surf • Brooklyn Paper

Child drowns in Coney Island surf

A 10-year-old girl from Staten Island drowned after falling into the ocean in Coney Island on July 22.

Police responded to the scene near Stillwell Avenue at 7 pm after passers-by saw the victim, Takara McDuffy, struggling in the water and pulled her to the shore, law enforcement sources said.

McDuffy was taken to Coney island Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, police said.

The girl and her 9-year-old sister fell off a jetty, but the sister was unharmed, according to police.

McDuffy is the fourth reported fatal drowning in Brooklyn in a little over a month. A man died after jumping off Steeplechase Pier on June 19, a Brooklyn toddler drowned in Prospect Park lake on July 5, and another man was found dead on June 30 after a drunken swim in the East River.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Borough President Adams and Councilman Mark Treyger (D–Coney Island) called for additional Parks enforcement officers to patrol the beach and enforce regulations against swimming after 6 pm when lifeguards are off duty.

Adams said the push did not come sooner because the problem was not clear until Tuesday’s tragedy.

“Many of these things stay off the radar until you see a pattern,” he said.

The politicians said they will also ask the Department to extend lifeguard hours to allow swimming later in the evening.

Treyger admitted that increased enforcement and lifeguards would not have prevented the drowning in Prospect Park — where an unattended toddler wandered into the lake — or the East River drowning — where a man decided to take a drunken dip — but he insisted that better enforcement at the city’s swimming holes would save lives.

Fifteen enforcement officers patrol he 2.5-mile beach along Coney Island and Brighton Beach from 6–9 pm, according to the Parks Department.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-8303. Follow him on Twitter @MJaeger88.

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