Community Mourns After Local Teen Drowns

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Dozens of candles and flowers sit on the boardwalk at the entrance to Beach 86th Street, where 17-year-old Lamine Sarr was last seen alive, swimming with friends on a warm late afternoon on Saturday, September 15, before being swept out by the stormy waters. They were left by friends, family and fellow students at Channel View School for Research (CVSR) on Monday afternoon as the search was underway for their classmate’s body. By the next morning, the call came in that a body was found in the water at Beach 98th Street. Lamine Sarr’s grieving family members were called to identify the body. It was him.

Sarr, a senior at CVSR, was described as a good, loving and caring person, who had  a good fashion sense and aspirations of being a model. On Saturday, he and two other friends took a break from playing video games and opted to spend some time outdoors, so they went to the beach. The waters proved to be too strong and soon the boys needed help, but Sarr was nowhere to be found. The other boys were rescued and emergency services responded at around 5 p.m. to conduct a massive search for Sarr for several hours, but as the night grew dark, their search came to an end. Sarr’s body was recovered on the morning of Tuesday, September 18.

Sarr’s family moved to the U.S. 11 years ago, but they plan to send the body of Sarr back to their hometown of Foundiougne in Senegal for burial.  To help the family with the costs, a GoFundMe fundraising campaign has been set up by one of Sarr’s cousins. As we go to press, more than $8,500 of the $10,000 goal was raised. Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/fly-lamine-back-to-senegal.

On Friday, September 21,  the Ocean Bay Community Center (57-10 Beach Channel Drive) is hosting a celebration of Sarr’s life from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

This past weekend, the first without lifeguards on duty since the season came to an end, was marred with rescues as people took advantage of the warm weather amidst stormy seas. Several people were rescued by surfers and emergency personnel over the weekend. As a reminder, lifeguards are no longer on duty, and people are advised to avoid going into the water. The ocean, though beautiful, is also powerful.

Rest in peace, Lamine.

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