Holiday Tragedy at Milford Beach

A man is pronounced dead after being pulled from the waters off Silver Sands State Park.

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Phillip Gangnath/Trumbull

There was a tragic end to a search off Silver Sands State Park in Milford this Fourth of July holiday when a man in his mid-30s was pulled from the water, three hours after he went under.

The man and a 9-year-old Hamden boy were walking on a sandbar connecting the beach to Charles Island when the tide came in and swept them in.

"The older gentleman was swept off, the boy was swept off also," Milford Fire Capt. Christopher Zak said. "The boy somehow, a great swimmer, was able to go out there and was rescued by some jet skiers."

Phillip Gangnath was on the beach with his family and saw the boy being rescued and brought to shore by the jet skier.

"It got chaotic quickly. The Park Rangers came up and got everybody out of the water," Gangnath said.

But people quickly realized that the man who was with the boy did not return. Witnesses called 911 around 3 p.m.

Crews from the Connecticut DEEP, Milford Police and Fire Departments, Stratford Police and the Coast Guard searched Long Island Sound by air and by boat.

The man's body was found just before 6 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

His name has not been made public as officials continue their investigation into the incident.

The waters around the sandbar can be very dangerous, experts said.

"My friends used to walk to the island and they said it would be up to your chest and there would be a riptide," one beach goer said. "People have drowned there before."

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