Shelton volunteers assist in boater recovery efforts

December 26, 2011 by  

Volunteer fire departments from Shelton, Seymour and other nearby communities assisted in rescue efforts and the eventual recovery of the body of a missing boater from Woodbridge. Richard Fiske had not been seen for nearly a week after he went on a boating outing on the Housatonic River.

The state Medical Examiner’s Office says Fiske died of natural causes. Fiske had an intracerebral hemorrhage and suffered from hypertensive cardiovascular disease (HCD.)Intracerebral hemorrhage is a type of stroke that occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures or leaks. HCD refers to problems such as coronary artery disease and heart failure that can occur in people with high blood pressure.

No stone was left unturned in the painstaking quest to find Fiske. Several state and local agencies pitched in to help. Poster printing might have been necessary to make enough room for the long list of names of search crew members and volunteers who assisted in exhaustive search effort.

Connecticut State Police Search and Rescue Dogs helped in the rescue effort, along with aerial search crews, assistance from Connecticut State Police Emergency Services and EnCon police officers in patrol boats.

Underwater search and rescue units dived into to the river with scan sonar units. The sonar devices emit fan-shaped pulses that provide detailed images of what’s underneath the boat, as well as what lies on either side of the boat’s passageway.

Fiske was last seen alive checking out a rowing skull from the New Haven Rowing Club in Oxford. His capsized boat was discovered a few hours later, prompting the search and rescue efforts. Six days later a person called 911 after noticing an object underwater, according to a statement released from the state Department of Environment Protection. The ‘object’ turned out to be Fiske’s body.