Rescue divers search Brighton Beach surf for missing swimmer

download (8)
Rescuers searched the Brighton Beach waters after a man saw someone disappear into the waves on July 21.
Photo by Todd Maisel

Rescue divers scoured the surf in Brighton Beach Tuesday night, where a witness said he saw a swimmer disappear in the water.

Edwin Rondon, 58, of Sunset Park, told authorities that he witnessed a man disappear into the waves at the end of a jetty near Coney Island Avenue at about 8 pm.

“I saw a man right at where the rocks end,” he said to members of the NYPD Harbor Unit. “I saw him go under and then he came back up and then he went back under and I thought that was impossible — he was trying to swim under the rocks and he must be in trouble.”

Firefighters and other rescuers searched for a missing swimmer that a witness said disappeared in the rough surf of Brighton Beach.Photo by Todd Maisel

Rondon said that by the time he made it to the rocks, he didn’t see the man anymore and dove in after him.

“I swam out towards the rocks and didn’t see him, but the surf was too strong, so I had to go back in,” Rondon said.

While he was searching for the missing man, Rondon said, witnesses dialed 911.

Divers searched unsuccessfully for the missing swimmer on Tuesday night.Photo by Todd Maisel

Dozens of firefighters arrived and sent in divers to search for the swimmer. They were assisted by several fire and police boats shining spotlights on the area, along with a police helicopter providing light from above.

After more than an hour of searching through the surf in the dark, rescuers called it quits.

Nobody on the beach — which is supposed to be closed — reported anyone missing, but authorities said the investigation remains ongoing.

This story first appeared on AMNY.com.

Onlookers on the boardwalk watch as divers search the waters for the missing swimmer.Photo by Todd Maisel