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Heartbroken mother reveals daughters’ final moments in Coney Island drowning tragedy

Zainab Mohammed (left) and Aisha Mohammed
Zainab (left) and Aisha Mohammed
Sheetal Banchariya
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

The younger of two teen sisters who drowned off Coney Island over the weekend only meant to dip her feet in the water at the time of the tragedy, according to her devastated mother.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Teni Ibrahim Ali, 43, told the Daily News on Monday afternoon.

Aisha, 18, and Zainab Mohammed, 17, were seen struggling in the waters near the Riegelmann Boardwalk just after 8 p.m. on Friday.

Ali lives in Columbus, Ohio, and rushed to New York as soon as her son broke the tragic news to her. She noted that her eldest daughter, Mariam Mohammed, was with her sisters at the time.

“After they were done swimming, they were about to leave. Zainab decided to just wash up her feet. She did not go deep in the water. Aisha saw that she was struggling and went to rescue her, but unfortunately, the waves were too strong,” Ali recounted.

Despite a swift response from the NYPD and FDNY, with the girls found around 9:30 p.m., the sisters could not be saved. Ali painfully explained that Aisha managed to make it out of the water, but later died at the hospital. Zainab was pronounced dead at the scene.

“They were born one year apart and were very close. Everybody was surprised because they were so close together and they passed away together,” Ali said, her voice breaking with sorrow.

Children Bathe At Closed Beach Where 15yr Old Boy Drowned
Teen sisters pulled from Coney Island waters die: NYPD
The teens were seen struggling in the water near the Riegelmann Boardwalk shortly after 8 p.m. Friday. (Theodore Parisienne for ˵Ӱ)

The funeral service for the teens will be held at the Yankasa Masjid, a mosque in the Bronx.

“I have to be there because it is the last time for me to see them,” Ali vowed.

The sisters lived with their grandmother in New York after their parents separated.

“When I moved out of the city, I asked them to come with me, but they said Columbus is boring and they’d like to stay here with my mother,” Ali explained.

Aisha Mohammed (left) and Zainab Mohammed
Aisha (left) and Zainab Mohammed

Both girls were born at Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx, going on to make their mother proud.

“They were very young and very intelligent. They attended Success Academy and were set to graduate next year. Aisha worked at Panera Bread,” she said.

Adding to the family’s sorrow, Ali’s father, the sisters’ grandfather, died last month.

“It’s just like a blow,” Ali said of the series of painful losses.

Last month, Elyjha Chandler, 16, and Christian Perkins, 17, drowned in the waters off Jacob Riis Park in Queens. Their bodies were found after a weeklong search.

., when lifeguards go off-duty. The city has been grappling with a shortage of lifeguards since the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.

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