Body of Missing Norwalk Boater Found

By Staff Reports
|  Friday, May 30, 2014  |  Updated 11:38 AM EDT
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Body of Missing Norwalk Boater Found

NBCConnecticut.com

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for at least one person whose canoe capsized in Norwalk.

State Police Dive teams recovered the body of a missing boater in Norwalk early Tuesday morning, not far from where he was last seen.

The U.S. Coast Guard spent the afternoon of Memorial Day searching Long Island Sound for Mauro Godinez, who went overboard and when a canoe capsized near Captain's Island in Norwalk.

The 40-year-old man is one of four who were in the canoe when it flipped. Fire officials received the initial report around 12:20 p.m. Monday, according to Deputy Chief Chris King.

The medical examiner has ruled the death an accidental drowning.His full name is listed as Mauro Hermelindo Godinez Pineda, according to police.

Marylis Portillo, who lives near Godinez, said the group was heading to an island to go fishing when the accident happened.

"He was looking forward to fishing since last night," Portillo said. "He's done it before. It's not the first time he's gotten on a canoe and gone to the island and tried to fish."

Portillo said Godinez has a wife and two children in Guatemala and works hard to send back money.

Officials said the canoe was only designed for two or three people and a large cooler was also aboard.

According to Portillo, all four boaters went down and resurfaced after the canoe tipped, but only two were wearing life jackets. The fire chief said Godinez and another man did not know how to swim.

"They saw him and he was asking for help," Portillo said. "He was saying, 'Help me, help me,' but the two guys with the life coats were helping the other guy."

Crews replaced swimmers in the waters on what started off as a relaxing day at Calf Pasture Beach.

"We came to relax, kick back and enjoy the nice weather and to hear something like this is pretty sad," said beachgoer Gene Berkowitz, of Norwalk.

Norwalk police and fire officials responded to the scene, along with Connecticut State Police, the U.S. Coast Guard, a state helicopter and a Greenwich police boat equipped with sonar.

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