A boater was reported missing after entering the water at Candlewood Lake in Brookfield on Sunday evening and the search will resume Monday morning, officials said.
Keith Williams, captain of the DEEP Conservation Police, said they were looking for a 24-year-old Bristol man who was on a pontoon boat with several of his friends. They did not identify the man.
DEEP is gathering information on what happened and said it was a recovery mission.
Brookfield Police said their dive team responded to the Candlewood Inn area around 7.30pm after receiving a report that a boater had jumped into the water and had not surfaced.
The dive team dived in two different areas where they believed the missing boater might be. After finding no one and dangerous diving conditions, they turned to sonar technology.
No one has been located and operations were suspended until 8 a.m. Monday, police said.
Brookfield Police said Connecticut State Police have taken over the sonar operators and Brookfield Police will resume the search on Monday.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said in addition to DEEP EnCon, Danbury Fire, Candlewood Lake Authority, Brookfield Police, Danbury Police and the Police Dive Team of State have all helped.
Boaters are advised to avoid the Candlewood Inn/Brookfield Bay area as dive operations are underway in search of a missing swimmer.
Emergency officials are urging people to wear a life jacket when on the water.
Williams warned that while the weather is warm, the water is still very cold.
The following advice comes from the Governor’s office:
- DEEP urges all residents and visitors entering or on the water to prioritize water safety.
- Water temperatures are cold this time of year, despite warmer air temperatures. There is a very real danger of hypothermia for swimmers, especially children, who enter very cold water for an extended period.
- State park visitors should also be aware that while there will be lifeguards on duty at Hammonasset Beach and Rocky Neck State Parks, many locations will not have lifeguards on duty. It is important to remember that water safety is everyone’s responsibility.
- If you enter the water, remember:
- Parents and guardians: watch your children. It only takes seconds for a child to drown, and it can happen silently.
- Be aware of underwater hazards: natural swimming areas may have sudden drop-offs, holes, large rocks or tree roots that are not easily visible from the surface. Diving and jumping in these waters can be dangerous.
- Swim only in designated areas and swim with a buddy.
- Take a swimming lesson: Swimming skills can help save lives. People of all ages should consider enrolling in a swimming lesson offered at local YMCAs or municipal parks and recreation departments.
- Drink responsibly: Excessive alcohol consumption impairs judgment and ability to react. Even prescription drugs can impair judgment. Swim sober.
- Know your limits, including physical fitness and medical conditions.
- Children, inexperienced swimmers and all boaters should wear US Coast Guard approved life jackets.
The following advice comes from the Governor’s office.
DEEP reminds all boaters that cold water temperatures create significant hazards for boaters, despite the possibility of warm air temperatures.
- Paddlers should exercise caution and use proper equipment, practice safety techniques, wear a life jacket (this is the law until the end of May) and avoid dangerous situations.
- Paddlers should always be prepared for sudden immersion in cold water.
- Always wear your life jacket: Connecticut law requires anyone in canoes, kayaks, rowboats, or stand-up paddleboards to wear a properly fitting life jacket between October 1 and May 31. If a boater ends up in the water, a life jacket will make someone more visible to other boaters and keep them afloat, greatly improving their chances of survival.
- Don’t paddle alone: Always paddle with a partner and know how to get back into the boat if you fall overboard. When paddling with a partner, it is easier to get back into a boat or reach shore safely.
- Dress for cold water: Paddlers should dress for water temperature, not air temperature. Water temperatures can vary widely around the state in the spring, but all are always below 68 degrees Fahrenheit, which is considered cold water. Cold water immersion increases the risk of cold water shock and involuntary gasp reflex, which is one of the main causes of drowning.
- File a Fleet Plan: Make a trip plan, including details of where and when to depart and return, and hand it to someone. Call them when the navigation is over and identify who to call in an emergency.
- Maintain proper supervision: Damaged docks, pilings and trees can float in rivers and Long Island Sound. Boaters should take extra care when out on the water to look for and avoid floating debris.
Learn more about cold water boating and paddling in Connecticut here.