Norwalk Police Search For Man Believed Dead After Fall From Canoe

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Lt. Paul Resnick of the Norwalk Police Department briefs the media about the man who went missing from a canoe.
Lt. Paul Resnick of the Norwalk Police Department briefs the media about the man who went missing from a canoe. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
First responders search the waters of Long Island Sound off Norwalk for a missing boater on Monday.
First responders search the waters of Long Island Sound off Norwalk for a missing boater on Monday. Photo Credit: Eric Gendron
First responders gather on the pier at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk as the search continues for a missing boater.
First responders gather on the pier at Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk as the search continues for a missing boater. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
First responders search the waters of Long Island Sound off Norwalk for a missing boater on Monday.
First responders search the waters of Long Island Sound off Norwalk for a missing boater on Monday. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith
People continue to picnic at the shore as the search goes on for a man who fell into the water from a canoe and was feared dead.
People continue to picnic at the shore as the search goes on for a man who fell into the water from a canoe and was feared dead. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

NORWALK, Conn. -- A 40-year-old man who fell into the waters of Long Island Sound is believed to be dead as the search continued late Monday afternoon for his body, Norwalk police said.

"We're not anticipating finding a living, viable victim," Lt. Paul Resnick said at a news conference at about 5 p.m. Monday.

The man, along with three others, were thrown from a canoe near Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk at about 12:20 p.m. Monday after it was hit by two waves, Resnick said.  

Three men, who were heading out to fish at a nearby island, were pulled from the water by the Norwalk Fire Department boat, Resnick said. A local kayaker, who was one of the first on the scene, also helped, he said.

Two men in the canoe were wearing life jackets, and two were not, police said.

The 16- to 18-foot canoe can typically hold two adults and a child, but contained four adult men on this trip. All four men are from Norwalk. The three who were rescued were being interviewed by the Nowalk Detective Bureau late Monday afternoon.

There was no indication that alcohol was a factor in the accident, but there was alcohol in the canoe, Resnick said.

Police did not release the names of any of the men.

Just before 3:30 p.m., first responders switched from a search-and-rescue mission to search-and-recovery mode, Resnick said.

He cited three problems in the accident: The victim did not have a life jacket, he could not swim and the water temperature was a chilly 58 degrees.

Side scan sonar was being used in a search pattern in the water in an attempt to locate the victim, Resnick said. It helps first responders to map the bottom of the Sound between Calf Pasture Beach and the island, he said. 

While using the sonar, first responders thought they had found the victim but it was not a body, police said. 

Memorial Day picnics continued at Calf Pasture Beach, with few beachgoers aware of the search for the missing man from the canoe. 

Emergency responders included: three Norwalk police boats, one Norwalk fire boat, one Darien police boat, a Westport police boat and jet ski, and a U.S. Coast Guard boat and helicopter as well as the Norwalk police dive team, the Wilton police and fire dive team and the Westport police and fire dive team.

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That is quite a lot of resources.

What a terrible tragedy, I want to know why if this man couldn't swim did he not have one of the Life jackets on, I mean it hopefully isn't because none of the boaters were unable to swim, My heart go's out to the family and friends,. God willing he doesn't drift up to the beach,. I couldn't imagine finding this poor soul that way. I hope they recover him soon.

Just heartbreaking! I am so sorry!! I pray that they find him alive.
If there is lesson to be learned in this tragedy it is to ALWAYS wear your life jacket!!! No exceptions, no excuses...