Lifeguards and emergency workers organize the search for a missing...

Lifeguards and emergency workers organize the search for a missing man, Xiangyong Chen, 31, who went swimming at Cupsogue Beach in East Moriches. His friend, Deng Zheng, 26, drowned earlier. (June 6, 2010) Credit: James Carbone

A Brooklyn man apparently drowned Sunday and his swimming companion disappeared at Cupsogue Beach in East Moriches, Suffolk police said.

The incident occurred on a day when the National Weather Service warned of "life-threatening" rip currents on Atlantic beaches and cautioned swimmers to stick to supervised areas.

Police said Deng Zheng, 26, and Xiangyong Chen, 31, along with two other men, entered the water at an unsupervised area of Cupsogue Beach about 10:50 a.m. Zheng and Chen, police said, swam roughly 50 yards from shore while their two friends stayed closer to the beach.

The two men nearer shore saw a large wave approaching and began swimming toward land, police said. When they got to the beach, police said, they looked for Zheng and Chen but could not see them.

Two Suffolk County Park lifeguards on a daily workout run saw the men on shore pointing to the water, summoned help and jumped in to search.

Zheng, of 938 57th St. in Brooklyn, was brought ashore and the lifeguards began CPR, police said. Chen, of New York City, was not found.

Zheng was pronounced dead at 12:17 p.m. at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, police said. His body will be examined by the Suffolk County Medical Examiner to determine a cause of death.

The National Weather Service had issued a rip tide advisory for Nassau County, southern Suffolk County, Queens and Brooklyn. The advisory stated that "these rip currents will be life-threatening to anyone who enters the surf" and swimmers should "please check with lifeguards before entering the water" and "not swim in unsupervised areas."

Kevin Giroux, 19, a college student from New Jersey visiting a classmate who lives in Smithtown, thought better of swimming once he got a look at conditions. "I have my swimsuit," he said. "But the waves are huge out there and it's kind of cold."

Latest videos

DON'T MISS THIS LIMITED-TIME OFFER1 5 months for only $1Save on Unlimited Digital Access