Elderly man drowns off Brighton Beach

An elderly man drowned off the coast of Brighton Beach on Sunday, despite the heroic efforts of an off-duty cop and two other good Samaritans.
Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

A 70-year-old man drowned off the coast of Brighton Beach on Sunday.

A passerby spotted the elderly man struggling in the water off Brighton Fourth Street and alerted an off-duty cop swimming nearby at around noon, and together the pair rushed to pull the unconscious man onto land, according to eyewitnesses.

Witnesses say that the cop, Michael Balioni, borrowed the other man’s phone to call paramedics, before the two men — with the help of Balioni’s friend — traded off performing CPR on the 70-year-old victim.

“I started crying, it was just so sad,” said Allyson Howard, who witnessed the incident.

The unconscious man, who had turned blue, regained some color after the compressions, but the good Samaritans were unable to revive him, according to a law enforcement source.

Paramedics rushed the elderly swimmer to Coney Island Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The man did not have any outward signs of injury and police do not suspect foul play, authorities claim.

Grief-stricken beachgoers expressed sorrow for the old man as paramedics sped off the beach, while praising Balioni for his heroic effort.

“If that happened to me, I’d want him to be at the beach,” Howard said of the cop.

Reach reporter Rose Adams at or by calling (718) 260–8306.
Updated 7:04 pm, July 29, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Barry from Kenya says:
Mayor Bozo will use this as a reason to eliminate another thousand parking spots.
July 29, 2019, 4:01 pm
Howell says:
Lifeguards? Whete were they?
July 29, 2019, 6:56 pm
Vanessa Wong Fu says:
No one knows for sure it was a drowning. Could have been a heart attack or a suicide. People - your not mind readers! You don’t what he or she was thinking!
July 30, 2019, 1:54 am
Sam Wanisha from Cobble Hill says:
What is mayor Billy D Blazio doing to prevent this from happening again? Nothing at all? Does he not even care about people dying?
July 30, 2019, 3:08 am
Barry from Kenya says:
What exactly do you want the mayor to do, Sam? Sit in a lifeguard tower all day? Maybe boomers shouldn't put themselves in harms way and sit at home all day watching fox news and complaining about brown people.
July 30, 2019, 7:29 am
Martin Troutman from Concerned Citizen says:
So you think the mayor's heartlessness is justified? How many people have to die here to make "barry" from "kenya" happy? There getting no attention from Mayor the Blazio. He says : Oh, I don't care! If your swimming, maybe you'll drown. LOL! - in his typical uncaring way.
July 31, 2019, 2:01 am
Rachel Madcow from MS-13NBC says:
CNN will find a way to blame the drownings on ‘racism’ or ‘white nationalism’ (fka white supremacy). LOL what a bunch of divisive clowns
July 31, 2019, 5:53 am
Jenny from Queens says:
I agree with Barry - the Mayor does nothing but sit on his soft, over-sized bottom all day. He has to be the laziest person on the face of the earth.
July 31, 2019, 5:57 am
Barry from Kenya says:
"Rachel" seems triggered! Poor snowflake.
July 31, 2019, 8:32 am
Craig H. from Brighton Beach says:
What a terrible tragedy. At noon on a Sunday during peak beach season one would expect on-duty life guards to respond to a swimmer in distress. Yet, no mention of any life guard presence or even a statement from the Parks Department contained in this article. Wondering if the reporter even called them??
July 31, 2019, 6:17 pm
Marie from Brighton Beach says:
Some people are totally ridiculous. I don't approve of everything the mayor does, but what the h*** is he supposed to do about a person drowning near a beach? Most ridiculous thing I've heard recently. Where were the lifeguards is what you should be asking.
Aug. 4, 2019, 2:38 pm
Craig H. from Brighton Beach says:
So apparently the article misstated the time of the incident which occurred before the life guards were on duty according to a Parks Department source. The beaches are all very clearly marked to not swim when life guards are not on duty. Never swim without a buddy is not just good advice; it can save your life.
Aug. 7, 2019, 3:38 pm

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: