The teenager who went missing during a dip in choppy waters off Rockaway didn’t know how to swim, a friend told The Post on Sunday.
Lamine Sarr, a 17-year-old high school senior and aspiring model, had been playing the video game Fortnite with two friends Saturday afternoon when the trio decided it was too warm to be indoors and went to wade in the ocean.
“They were just gonna walk into the water,” said Ezra Cummings, 17, who has known the other boys since middle school.
But then, “they couldn’t feel their legs,” Cummings said one of the boys told him. “After a little while they couldn’t feel their feet touching the ground, [they] turned around and Lamine wasn’t there.”
One of the boys present during the outing told Cummings, “They could feel something pulling them away from the beach.”
“They tried to fight it,” he added. “They couldn’t. It pulled them out.”
Only one of the boys knows how to swim — and “barely,” Cummings said.
On Sunday morning, authorities resumed their search for Sarr, who was last seen off Beach 86th Street.
The “positive and cool” teen played in a band at Channel View School for Research in Queens and liked basketball and nice clothing, friends said.
“He liked the idea of people taking his pictures with fancy clothes,” Cummings said. “He wanted to be a model. He liked the idea of modeling as a job. That’s what he wanted to do after he graduated.”
Sarr was “always talking about graduation” and was looking forward to prom, said another friend, fellow senior Tnes Groves, 16, as she visited the area near Beach 86 with her parents Sunday morning.
“I know how loving he was and how open he was,” she said between tears.
Sarr’s mother is extremely distraught, Cummings said.
“She feels like his body is somewhere, washed up already, [that] somebody found him and rescued him,” he said.
“She’s not ready to believe he’s gone.”