OLD SAYBROOK – The state’s environmental agency has released the name of a fisherman who has been missing since he went into the waters of Long Island Sound near the Connecticut River Sunday night to retrieve a fishing pole, authorities said.
The U.S. Coast Guard continues to search for Yuri Kirpichev, 51, of West Springfield, Mass. although its efforts now are being characterized as a recovery operation. The Coast Guard is in charge of the search, for which it is getting help from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection police and the state police.
The DEEP’s police force is in charge of investigating the boating accident.
Earlier Monday, the Coast Guard reported that it had a crew of at least a dozen searching the area, which is where the river flows into the Long Island Sound. The search was by boat and helicopter, said Old Saybrook Fire Chief John Dunn.
The Coast Guard searched the waters throughout the night, he said, although Kirpichev by Monday was presumed dead.
The fisherman wasn’t wearing a life vest when he went into the water, said Ali Flockerzi, spokeswoman for the U.S. Coast Guard.
The call for a missing person came in about 8:15 p.m. Sunday. Kirpichev was fishing on a boat with three other people — a man and two children — when he went overboard, according to DEEP. The state agency’s Environmental Conservation officers, called EnCon police, assisted with the search.
The other three people with the fishermen were brought to shore by emergency personnel.
The search was still going on as of 10:45 p.m. Sunday, according to DEEP; Dunn said the local fire departments had nine boats on the water until 11:15 p.m.
“We did a full-court press last night,” he said Monday.
According to the Old Saybrook Fire Department, the search was launched after a man in the water was rescued by occupants of a passing boat. The man reported that his companion was missing.
Firefighters from Old Saybrook, Old Lyme, Westbrook, Clinton and Essex were involved in the search, as were firefighters from Haddam — who had scanning sonar equipment, according to the Old Saybrook Fire Department.