Boater Dies After Falling Into Long Island Sound in Milford

A New York man died after he fell into Long Island Sound in Milford Saturday night, according to fire department officials.

Fire department dispatchers said they were called to Silver Sands State Park around 6 p.m. Saturday for reports a man fell off of a boat somewhere in the area of Charles Island. 

Authorities said that the man's wife watched him go over and tried to throw him a life ring, but was not successful. She called police and said he was struggling to stay above the water south of Charles Island.

According to officials, Milford Fire Department Marine unit and dive team as well as the U.S. Coast guard, and marine units from West Haven and Stratford immediately responded.

“Water conditions were rough. Three to four seas out there. Water temperature in the 40’s. Cold and difficult conditions for the search,” said Capt. Keith Williams of the Environmental Conservation Police.

The man, later identified as Richard Melucci, 43, of Mount Sinai, New York, was discovered about 55 minutes into the search. Despite life saving efforts by Milford paramedics, the Melucci died from his injuries at Milford Hospital. Authorities said he was not wearing a life jacket.

Melucci's wife was also taken to Milford Hospital for evaluation. 

The boat was towed to Milford Landing and Milford Police are conducting a full investigation. 

Officials warned that despite the warm weather, the water is still cool and falling in can be deadly.

“If you’re going out in these conditions, yeah it’s warm, the weather is great but the water temperature is 40 degrees. You don’t have much time for survival in those conditions. So lifejacket will definitely increase your odds if you do fall in," Williams warned.

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