NEW YORK (PIX11) – Four police officers tossed aside their gun belts, stripped off their bulletproof vests and waded into choppy waters off the New York City coast Tuesday to rescue a trio of swimmers who nearly drowned.
It happened about 6:30 p.m. near Beach 17th Street, the NYPD said Wednesday.
A beachgoer called 911 to report two girls, ages 14 and 15, who were struggling in the waves about 50 feet off shore.
When Sgt. Darryl Knight, Officer Terrence Sloan, Officer Maurice Roper and Officer Michael McCarthy came upon the scene, they saw a third swimmer struggling in the water.
A male had jumped into the water to try to save the teens, but became stranded himself.
The officers – who have 22 years of experience on the force between them – removed their gun belts and gear that would weigh them down in the water and ran into the choppy surf.
Fighting against the current, they pulled to shore the two girls who were about 50 feet out and the male who was about 30 feet out.
The teens were taken to a hospital for evaluation and released. The male refused medical aid.
After Labor Day, lifeguards are pulled from NYC beaches for the summer so no one was watching the water when the girls went in.