Police Commissioner Thomas R. Sofield, Sr. announced today the heroic efforts by members of the Long Beach Police Department and off duty Long Beach Lifeguards in a water rescue operation that resulted in the lifesaving of 4 youths that were in distress in the ocean off Long Beach.
On June 9, 2008 at 6:23 p.m. at Long Beach Boulevard and the Oceanfront, Long Beach Police Officer Michael Gelberg was patrolling the oceanfront area of Long Beach, while he was assigned to Beach Patrol, when he came upon four swimmers who were in distress in the ocean. After radioing for assistance
P.O. Gelberg entered the ocean and began the rescue operation. At this time P.O. Gelberg enlisted the help of five off-duty lifeguards who assisted him. The lifeguards were identified as David Weiss, Brian McGee, Brian Wood, Chris Martin and Bill DiGennaro
Rescued from the water were Amaoge Obedibia, a 22 year-old female from West Hempstead, Jeffrey Joseph a 20 year old from Valley Stream, Elizabeth Beauvil a 20 year old female from Elmont and a 12 year old youth whose name is not being releases because of his age. After being removed from the ocean, all four persons were subsequently taken to Long Beach Medical Hospital, by the Long Beach Fire Department, where they were treated and released.
Police Commissioner Thomas R. Sofield, Sr. Stated, “I cannot stress enough the dangers of swimming in the ocean when they are not protected by lifeguards. Riptides and strong currents can strike at any moment and without warning. The Long Beach Police Department is fortunate to have such courageous officers such as P.O.Gelberg, and the City of Long Beach is privileged to have such dedicated lifeguards such as the ones that were off duty and participated in this rescue. If not for their quick thinking and actions the consequences of this event could have been catastrophic. I am well pleased and this incident is just another example of how the Long Beach Police Department is second to none when it comes to providing public safety to it’s citizens and the people who visit our city.”