Firefighter's body recovered after boat capsizes

(Stamford Advocate)

July 23, 2012 3:30:53 PM PDT
Environmental Conservation Police are now in the process of reconstructing this tragic boating accident after the recovery of the New Rochelle fireman's body.

"Divers recovered the body of Keith Morris from the waters of Stamford harbor. He was found in approximately (14 feet) of water at the scene of the accident," Capt. Raul Camejo, Environmental Conservation Police, said.

Connecticut investigators say the 28-foot craft crashed into a breakwater in Stamford Harbor.

Morris, a 31-year-old New Rochelle firefighter, is believed to have been piloting the boat at the time of the crash.

"It appears the boat struck the breakwater and one person was ejected. The boat capsized. Two people were rescued inside the boat. They were trapped in an air pocket," Camerjo said.

Coast Guard and other marine units quickly responded and began rescue operations.

"I didn't hear people screaming for help. I certainly did not hear that. I could hear them once police came, people talking to each other. I didn't hear any screaming," Rachel Shanley, an area resident, said.

They found a man and a woman clinging to the hull of the overturned boat and pulled them to safety. Another man and a woman were discovered inside the boat's cabin, able to survive in an air pocket.

Grieving family members and friends gathered together and anxiously awaited as divers continued a methodical search before finally discovering Morris's body at midday.

Morris joined the fire department in August 2004 and served with Ladder Company 12 at Fire Station #2 on Webster Avenue.

"The entire department is shocked and devastated by this heart-wrenching news. Keith was a good firefighter, dedicated to the job. We haven't even begun to feel the impact of our loss, which will be great," From Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio said.

Investigators say they will be looking into the groups activity Sunday afternoon and evening, including published reports they had been at a restaurant prior to the crash.

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