The summer beach season got off to a deadly and calamitous start yesterday as a Brooklyn man drowned at Long Beach and authorities racing to help another swimmer accidently ran over a sunbather, crushing his spine.
Nineteen-year-old Emanuel Tiburcio, did not know how to swim. Officials say Tiburcio struggled in rough surf as his friends helplessly watched him go under and down.
Tiburcio's sister, Angie Dorbille spoke with News 4 about the tragic event saying, "they (Tiburcio and his friends) were in the front of the beach and a big tidal wave came. The first one came and he tried to hold on to the rock and more kept coming and he just disappeared in the water and they can't find his body."
About a half a mile away, a sunbather was accidentally run over by a Long Beach police officer who was reportedly rushing to the scene of another rescue -- one of 10 water rescues at Long Beach as scores of sunbathers and swimmers took advantage of 90-degree weather before the official start of summer.
Witnesses say the driver of the police SUV had no clue he had run over the sunbather until he was flagged down by beachgoers. The victim was taken to a nearby hospital and said to have a broken spine and rib.
The victim's friends were part of group of swimmers that had to be rescued during the time the beach was supposed to be closed to beachgoers. The official beach season kicks off this Memorial Day weekend.