Two bodies found off Rockaways eight days after swimmers go missing

The area of Jacob Riis Park in the Rockaways where two teens went missing in the water due to an apparent rip tide on June 21, 2024.
Photo via X/@NYPDDaughtry

Police discovered two bodies in the water off the shore of the Rockaways over the weekend, a little over a week after two teenage boys disappeared while swimming in the area.

Cops recovered one body at around 9 p.m. Saturday off Beach 114th Street and the Ocean Promenade. The second body was discovered at 10:45 a.m. Sunday, about two miles from Jacob Riis Park, where the boys were last seen swimming.

The discovery came about eight days after 16-year-old Elyjha Chandler and 17-year-old Christian Perkins vanished while swimming off Jacob Riis Park beach. Federal and local agencies conducted an extensive search in the days following the teens’ June 21 disappearance.

The night of their disappearance, NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Operations Kaz Daughtry said that authorities believed the boys had been pulled out to sea by a rip tide.

The bodies, as of Sunday, had not been officially identified by cops. The NYPD, however, described both as male.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said more needs to be done to prevent drownings in the wake of the deaths.

Richards plans to advocate for extending the hours that lifeguards are on duty — especially during forecasted heat waves — and making a more concerted effort to address the city’s lifeguard shortage.

He said other potentially life-saving efforts include building new community pools on the Rockaway peninsula and opening existing pools within school buildings for community use during the summer.