Recovery Effort for 17-Year-Old Caught in Rip Current Off Rockaway Beach: Officials

A 17-year-old boy who got caught in a rip current while swimming with his friends Saturday is missing and believed to be dead, officials said. 

Lamine Sarr was swimming with two other friends in an area of Rockaway Beach without lifeguards when they all got caught in a rip current, witnesses and his family said. 

An emergency call around 5 p.m. reported a swimmer in the water near Shore Front Parkway and 86th Street, the FDNY said. 

Bystanders jumped in the water and pulled two of the teens out, but Sarr remained missing. The NYPD said it's now considered a recovery mission. 

"I knew him, he’s a good kid." Donna Simbo told NBC 4 New York. "Very talented in the band."

NYPD divers were back in the water the next two days but pulled out Monday afternoon when the weather got worse. 

Meanwhile, a vigil was set up for the missing teen on the beach, with students from Channel View High School bringing flowers and lit candles as they cried and held onto other.

"Everything about him was something you can't forget," said classmate Jaden Carmichael. "He was a great guy. Someone so young. It's hurtful."

"Everyone was crying in the halls. And we put up a poster, Rest in Peace," said Alicia Muruzumbay. 

Sarr's family was also waiting on the beach. Uncle Alieu Bittaye said it was "very sad, very sad. Very tough for all of us." 

"It's very, very hard," said father Mamadou Sarr. 

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