Westport police recover body near sunken boat on Cockenoe Island; 1 boater remains missing

Officials say the body was recovered three miles north of where the sunken boat was found.

Robyn Karashik, Angelica Toruno and Nicole Alarcon Soares

Oct 23, 2023, 4:55 PM

Updated 272 days ago

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Westport Police say they recovered a body of a boater who went missing late Sunday afternoon after their boat sank in the waters near Cockenoe Island off Westport.
Officials say the body was recovered three miles north of where the sunken boat was found.
The victim has been identified by police as Juan Gabriel Valle Pineda of Spring Valley, New York.
Police said Bridgeport Fire boat was first on scene and recovered the body from the Sound. 
Officials say as of 9 p.m. Monday, the search for the second missing boaters has been suspended. 
Chopper 12 captured the moment police found the lost boat. They deployed dive teams to retrieve and investigate the area but originally had no luck in finding the two missing people.
Police say the small fishing boat with five people on-board sank sometime after 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The boat had been anchored off of Cockenoe Island and all five people ended up in the Sound.
Around 4 p.m., a group of six people on a boat saw three people in the water near Cockanoe Island.
"Next thing we know we see people waving on this red buoy…hanging on for their lives," says Molly Mayeux, one of the people who helped rescue the boaters.
She says once they managed to get them out of the water, they covered them in blankets. “They were just shivering and freezing,” says Mayeux.
Westport police commenced search efforts around 4 p.m. and suspended them at 9 p.m. They resumed the search at sunrise Monday morning.
The Westport Police Marine Division, the U.S. Coast Guard Marine and Air Units and the Suffolk County Air unit all assisted in search efforts. 
News 12 Connecticut’s Angelica Toruno spoke to four of the people who rescued the boaters. They said the relief of saving the three people quickly wore off when they realized there were still two others missing. They tried to look for them but the conditions on the water kept getting worse, so they headed back to shore.


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