Bronx man, 19, who drowned at Rockaway Beach couldn’t swim, family says

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FAR ROCKAWAY, Queens — A 19-year-old who drowned in the water off Far Rockaway, Queens Wednesday couldn't swim, his family said.

Keith Johnson, 19, of the Bronx, went missing near Beach 17th Street at the Boardwalk around 6:30 p.m. earlier this week.

The family set up a GoFundMe for the recent Queens Transition Center graduate, which has already raised $3,000 since Thursday.

To make a donation to help family with funeral expenses, visit this website.

Oscar, who did not want to disclose his last name, told PIX11 News that his niece was swimming with the 19-year-old when he got into trouble in the water and signaled to the girl that he was in distress. She made it out OK, but he never surfaced.

Two hours later, he was pulled from the water and emergency officials performed CPR. He was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In the GoFundMe post, the family thanked the many people for their support and love.

"The family and friends of Keith will like to thank all who sent prayers. We will also like to thank all of New York’s finest first responders and St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for their diligent and courageous efforts to save our beloved Keith. Special Thanks to the attending NYPD officers who greeted the family at the hospital."

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