21-Year-Old Torrington Man Dies in Winsted Boating Accident

The 21-year-old man whose body was pulled from a lake in Winsted following a boating accident has been identified as Benjerman Steen, of Torrington.

Steen disappeared into the water at Highland Lake in Winsted after his boat overturned Sunday evening. Two other passengers, Winsted residents Kyle Hadsell, 27, and Hoard Surowiecki, 25, made it to shore and were treated for hypothermia, police said.

Family members stood on the shore sobbing as divers pulled Steen's body from the water Monday afternoon. Steen was pronounced dead around 12:20 p.m. Monday.

Police said the three men were out on the lake when their 12-foot aluminum rowboat tipped, sending them into the water around 5:45 p.m. Sunday. Steen's body was found several yards from the overturned boat.

Authorities used sonar to search for Steen, who fell into the murky, 53-degree water without a life vest. Firefighters said Sunday night there was little chance he had survived.

Winsted Fire Chief Robert Shopey said none of the three was wearing a life preserver, as required by law. Hadsell and Surowiecki were treated at Winsted Health Center and have been released.

More than 20 departments responded, including Winsted, Bantam, Torrington, Norwalk, Goshen, Watertown, Thomaston and Terryville and Connecticut State Police.

Crews faced a number of challenges throughout the search. A police boat got stuck in the mud and visibility was minimal as divers found themselves kicking up silt.

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Environmental Conservation Police are investigating the accident.

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