'Man overboard' claim proves false

An extensive search for an elderly man who reportedly fell off a boat in Long Island Sound ended Wednesday after rescuers learned the report was not true.

The search started at about 5:45 p.m. Wednesday when Milford's 911 dispatch center received a call from a shoreline resident reporting a boater in distress in the waters of Long Island Sound, off of an area known as Burwell Beach.

Milford Fire Rescue Marine units quickly responded and arrived on scene to find a 70-year-old man on board a small recreational vessel, according to Fire Battalion Chief Anthony Fabrizi. The man told firefighters that his elderly father had fallen overboard and disappeared below the surface of the water.

Additional fire units along with the department’s dive team responded to the scene to assist in the intensive search effort. They were joined by the Milford Police Marine Unit/Dive team along with the US Coast Guard Helicopter and Marine units.

The 70-year-old man was evaluated on the scene by Milford fire paramedics and transported to Milford Hospital as a precaution. An extensive search of the area was conducted with nothing found.

Milford police, working in conjunction with the Connecticut State Police, managed to make contact with the man's family. They learned that the man's father had been dead for many years and was not on the vessel as reported. So the search was called off.