Firefighter Drowns After Stamford Capsizing

The conditions of the four people pulled from the water are unknown at this time

By Brynn Gingras and Ida Siegal
|  Monday, Jul 23, 2012  |  Updated 9:07 PM EDT
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Search and recovery teams located the body a New Rochelle firefighter who drowned in the waters off Stamford, Conn. when his boat slammed into a jetty. Ida Siegal reports.

NBC 4 New York

Search and recovery teams located the body a New Rochelle firefighter who drowned in the waters off Stamford, Conn. when his boat slammed into a jetty. Ida Siegal reports.

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The body of a New Rochelle firefighter missing since his boat capsized off the Connecticut coast late Sunday was recovered nearly 60 feet below the surface of the Long Island sound, authorities said.

Four other passengers from the boat -- including Morris' brother -- were brought to shore in Greenwich by the Coast Guard just after 1 a.m. Two of those rescued had been trapped underneath the vessel for nearly an hour. The other two were found clinging to the boat's side.

The body of New Rochelle Firefighter Keith Morris, 30, was found just after noon almost directly under the area where the boat was discovered. A medical examiner will perform an autopsy to determine if alcohol may have been involved in the crash. Police say Morris had been the boat operator.

Preliminary reports indicate the boat hit a stone wall at Shippan Point in Stamford and flipped over at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

All five people aboard the boat are from New Rochelle. They were returning home when the boat capsized. The water was calm at the time, officials say. It wasn't known if alcohol was involved.

Morris joined the New Rochelle Fire Department in August 2004 and served with Ladder Company 12 at Fire Station No. 2 on Webster Avenue.

"The entire department is shocked and devastated by this heart-wrenching news," said New Rochelle Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio. "Keith was a good firefighter, dedicated to the job. We haven't even begun to feel the impact of our loss, which will be great."

The conditions of the four people rescued were not immediately known, though authorities say no one was hospitalized. None of those rescued were wearing life vests, officials said.

The boat has been pulled from the water.  

Last month, three children were killed when the yacht they were on with 24 other people capsized as they returned from fireworks July 4 in Long Island.

The New York incident remains under investigation.

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