Teenage sisters die after being rescued from Coney Island water

NEW YORK – Two teenage sisters taken out of the water at Coney Island have been declared dead.

The two teenagers, aged 17 and 18, entered the water on Friday night around 8 p.m., after lifeguards were off duty.

Emergency services arrived at the scene with boats and divers.

The girls were pulled from the water in critical condition around 9:30 p.m. and rushed to Coney Island Hospital, where they were pronounced dead shortly after 10 p.m. Their names have not yet been released.

“I saw a lot of police and firefighters running to the scene and all of a sudden the victims’ family headed to the same area but they were told to go to the boardwalk,” said witness Danny Quinones. “It’s a very tragic event.”

Initially, authorities believed they were looking for a third person, but it turns out there was no third person in the water.

Authorities have repeatedly warned bathers not to enter the water when lifeguards are not on duty.

Bathroom safety is a priority in New York

Just two weeks ago, teenagers Elyjha Chandler and Christian Perkins died after disappearing in a wave at Jacob Riis Beach. Authorities spent days searching for them. The deaths prompted Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and other leaders to Changes are being requested to improve safety on the city’s beaches.

One of its proposals was to extend lifeguard hours on the beaches, but the Parks Department said that would create new problems because those lifeguards spend hours in the sun and “the job is extremely susceptible to exhaustion and fatigue… and adding more hours to their regular hours would put undue stress on them and inhibit their ability to adequately police the beaches and keep beachgoers safe.”