Authorities believe two bodies pulled from the waters off Coney Island Friday afternoon are the man and woman who divers have been searching for since they disappeared after falling off a Jet Ski they were riding together Thursday night, police said.
Officials are working to determine if the bodies recovered are 29-year-old Celine Fu and 44-year-old Willie Tom, who were last seen in the water at West 31st Street and Neptune Avenue around 8 p.m. Thursday.
The Coast Guard said in a statement that it had suspended its search for the two people shortly after 1 p.m. Friday after the bodies were recovered.
The Coast Guard said the man had been steering the Jet Ski and jumped in the water to help Fu when she fell off. Two off-duty NYPD officers and an off-duty Coast Guard member witnessed Tom leap into the water after she fell, the Coast Guard said.
When both failed to resurface, one of the off-duty police officers jumped in the water to look for them; that officer was later pulled from the water by rescuers, but there was no sign of the missing Jet Skiers.
Fu's husband told NBC 4 New York the crisis unfolded so quickly he barely had time to react.
"One minute I was eating my chicken wing, and then both of them disappeared," he said.
A relative described Tom as an experienced Jet Skier who has eight nieces and nephews, loved fishing and "spent his life on the water."
Coast Guard crews, as well as FDNY marine units and members of the NYPD marine, aviation and land units assisted in the search.
The Coast Guard said the two people who were found were not wearing life jackets.