Boat Capsizes in Long Island Sound Near Stamford Lighthouse [UPDATE]

Body of victim Keith Morris, a 30-year-old firefighter in New Rochelle, NY., has been recovered.

Update as of 1:30 p.m. on July 23

The search for Keith Morris ended at 12:15 p.m. today when authorities located his body 58 feet below the surface in the Long Island Sound.

Capt. Raul Camejo, of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's division of state environmental conservation police, said Morris' body has been turned over to the state medical examiner, for an autopsy. Morris, 31, was a firefighter in New Rochelle, NY.

According to Camejo, Morris was thrown from a boat at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday when the vessel struck a break wall in Stamford Harbor. Morris, and four other pasengers who were rescued, had reportedly just left the , a waterfront restaurant and bar.

Two of the passengers were pulled from the water by Darien emergency responders shortly after the call came in, while the other two were trapped inside the boat. Those two passengers were able to breath in an air pocket within the boat, and were saved by divers, Camejo said.

An accident reconstruction is being conducted as part of the investigation. Authorities have not determined whether alcohol may have been a factor, Camejo said.

Morris' body was found nearby where the boat struck the wall, through the use of side sonar devices—about 13 hours later.

Update as of 12:15 p.m. on July 23

Emergency officials have said that their operation to locate Keith Morris, the man missing following a boat accident in the waters off Stamford early this morning, has turned from a search-and-rescue to a recovery effort.

It's now been more than 12 hours since the boat Morris was on capsized in the Long Island Sound, near the Stamford breakwater.

Update 11:42 a.m., July 23:

The man who went missing early this morning when a boat he was on capzied has been identified as Keith Morris, 30, a firefighter in New Rochelle, NY.

Firefighters from the department are on scene as emergency crews continue to search for him. It has now been about 12 hours since a distress call came in for a capsized boat in which Morris was a passenger.

Update 11:05 a.m., July 23:

Authorities are still searching Monday morning for a man lost in the water following a around midnight overnight near the Stamford Lighthouse. 

Four people were pulled from the water by emergency response crews and divers. Two were pulled from the water by the first-arriving police marine units and two others trapped underneath the boat itself were pulled from the waters by divers from a Stamford fire boat.

A fifth man is still missing. He is described as a 5-foot, 9-inch stocky man wearing khaki pants and a dark t-shirt.

The boat apparently hit the breakwall and then capsized at approximately 11:37 p.m., Stamford authorities said.

Diving crews were launching from a staging area off Harbor Drive during the initial launch during the early hours of the morning.

A Coast Guard helicopter was confirmed on-scene assisting in the search. Darien, Greenwich, Stamford and Noroton emergency response crews all responded last night to assist at the scene. Central, Woodside and Shippan emergency response crews also had representatives on scene.

Update 4:15 a.m., July 23:

Greenwich police and fire crews have left the scene, according to radio transmissions.

Original story:

Stamford Police, Fire and Rescue, and the Greenwich Police Departments were all involved in a rescue operation early Monday along with the United States Coast Guard to rescue passengers of a yacht that capsized in the Long Island Sound.

The boat tipped near the Stamford Lighthouse, not far from the Stamford breakwater. Divers and a chopper were enroute to the scene at approximately 12:40 a.m.

Emeregency crews had rescued four people from the waters shortly before 1 a.m. The Coast Guard confirmed they were attempting to rescue at least one individual trapped underneath the boat.

The missing party was described as a stocky male, 5-feet, 9-inches, wearing a dark shirt and khaki pants.

Emergency response crews were launching from a staging area off Harbor Drive in Stamford, according to emergency communications. 

Darien and Greenwich marine police departments also are involved in the rescue. At least one diver from the Greenwich Marine Division was at the scene assisting with the search. Greenwich Police Chief James Heavey also was headed to the scene.

Local editor Barbara Heins contributed to this report.


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