Authorities in New York launched a desperate search for a five-year-old boy who fell in the Harlem River on Saturday, as a witness said the last thing they saw was a small ‘arm sticking out of the water.’
The United States Coast Guard Tri-State confirmed on Saturday evening that they were looking for a young boy who vanished near the shoreline of Randall’s Island.
A New York Police Department spokesperson told DailyMail.com that the child was last seen around 2.30pm as he played with his siblings by the shoreline rocks.
Sources told New York Post that the child was climbing a tree at Randall’s Island near the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge at the time.
Authorities on Saturday confirmed that they were searching for a five-year-old boy who went missing near the shoreline of Randall’s Island in New York City. Pictured: Divers search the Harlem River on Saturday
The United States Coast Guard Tri-State, the New York Police Department and New York City Fire Department have partnered in the search. Pictured: Medical staff attends to a woman at Randall’s Island
Pictured: A family appears distraught on Saturday after a five-year-old boy reportedly fell from a tree at Randall’s Island and into the Harlem River
Luis Ramos was coaching children playing soccer when the incident happened. He said that the child’s arm was briefly visible in the water as parents frantically combed the area.
‘The parents jumped in, that’s why they’re wet. They jumped in to look for him. A couple of other parents jumped in too. The thing is it’s so dark you can’t see anything in the water,’ Ramos told NYPost.
‘I heard the parents going: “Over there! Over there!”‘ he said. ‘I saw a little arm out of the water, that was it. The last thing I saw was an arm sticking out.’
Ramos said that the child and his family were playing at Randall’s Island when he thinks they approached the water.
‘Everybody was just playing around and I guess they went to the side of the water and something must of happened,’ said Ramos.
Witnesses said that a number of parents rushed into the Harlem River on Saturday after realizing the child was missing
Pictured: Crew with the New York City Fire Department stand along the shoreline of Randall’s Island with at least two gurneys
Pictured: Divers at Randall’s Island search for the missing five-year-old on Saturday
Rosa Mencia, a local who was at Randall’s Island with her family, told New York Daily News a similar account and said she saw the young boy running towards the water.
‘The family were in the field with the children and many children were playing soccer,’ she said. ‘Then one child was running, just running to the water.
‘The boy — he went right down. People ran into the water, and they couldn’t get him. They were crying.
Rosa Mencia: ‘The boy — he went right down. People ran into the water, and they couldn’t get him. They were crying’
Luis Ramos: ‘I saw a little arm out of the water, that was it. The last thing I saw was an arm sticking out’. Pictured: FDNY personnel watch on at Randall’s Island as the search continued throughout the evening
Parents and a group of children practicing soccer were at Randall’s Island when the horrific accident occurred
Pictured: Helicopters and boat crews were at the scene on Saturday as they searched for the missing child
‘I looked at the father and he threw himself to the floor. He was crying.’
Karim Hutson, another witness, told NYDN that nearby witnesses dashed over to help in the search after the boy disappeared.
‘I saw a bunch of people running towards the water and people started stripping. Immediately everybody started looking to try and see if they can find the kid,’ said Hutson.
‘There was about four or five folks in the water and I guess 10 or so people running around the shore trying to see if they can locate the kid and they just couldn’t find him… Everybody was trying to see what they can do.
Hutson added that the incident was ‘tragic’ and ‘Honestly, there’s so much litter in the water it’s hard to see.’
Karim Hutson: ‘There was about four or five folks in the water and I guess 10 or so people running around the shore trying to see if they can locate the kid and they just couldn’t find him’
Witnesses said they had trouble spotting the missing child in the Harlem River because the water is too dark (pictured)
The incident happened in New York City at Randall’s Island (pictured) around 2.40pm on Saturday
The New York Police Department, New York City Fire Department and the United States Coast Guard partnered together during the initial search.
The USCG announced at 8pm that they had suspended its search for the little boy pending further investigation. The NYPD is still on the scene.
DailyMail.com has reached out to the USCG Tri-State, NYPD and FDNY for more details.