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Jamaica father missing in Rockaway waters

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A Jamaica father who was trying to beat the heat with his longtime girlfriend in Far Rockaway was carried away by dangerous currents early Wednesday morning, authorities said.

Heyward Patterson, 40, was with his girlfriend, Lisa Dean, near Beach 15th Street around 3 a.m. when he decided to take a dip in the water and was immediately pulled away from the shore, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Curtis Patterson, the victim’s older brother, said Dean watched in shock as his sibling was taken away by the waves.

“He was like, ‘I’m getting in the water. I’m hot,’” Curtis Patterson said.

Coast Guard crews searched the waters off the Rockaways for hours, but as of early afternoon Heyward Patterson’s body had not been found. His family, who lives in Far Rockaway, said the authorities have warned them that the search may not result in positive news.

“They said we might have to wait two days for the body to resurface,” said Curtis Patterson.

Heyward Patterson, who lives with Dean, his girlfriend of 15 years, in Jamaica, is on disability assistance, according to his brother. In addition to Curtis Patterson, the missing man has a younger sister, a mother and two teenage children from previous relationships.

Heyward Patterson also had a younger brother, Jermaine, who was killed in an auto accident 11 years ago, according to Curtis Patterson.

Curtis Patterson said his brother and his girlfriend would frequently take trips to Rockaway Beach, where two swimmers drowned after being caught in riptides two weeks ago.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

Posted 6:32 pm, October 10, 2011
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