Body of missing Selden man in sailboat found in Sound

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The body of a 59-year-old Selden man who had radioed Sunday to report his 26-foot sailboat was "taking on water" was found early Monday in the Long Island Sound, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard said in a news release the body of Ciro Stellges was recovered near Duck Pond Point about 8:10 a.m.

After a fruitless search Sunday, Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer 2nd Class Jetta Disco said a helicopter was dispatched to search again at first light Monday.


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The Coast Guard said Stellges called Riverhead Town police about 12:16 p.m. Sunday to report he was piloting a 26-foot sailboat named MAC from James Creek on Peconic Bay to Port Washington and that the boat was taking on water off Jacobs Point.

The Coast Guard was notified at 12:27 p.m. at which time the water temperature was 46 degrees, with 3 to 4 feet seas and winds about 15 to 20 knots, Disco said. Based on factors such as age, health condition, type of clothing worn, and if the person was wearing a life jacket, survival time in such seas could have been "roughly nine hours," she said. Stellges was wearing a life jacket when he was found, she said.

The Coast Guard dispatched search teams from its Sector Long Island Sound group bases in Cape Cod, Mass., as well as New Haven and New London, Conn., to search for the boat.

Search units included an MH-60 helicopter from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, the Cutter Tiger Shark, an 87-foot patrol boat based in Newport, Rhode Island, a 45-foot rescue boat from New Haven and a 45-foot rescue boat from New London. The Suffolk County police dispatched a marine unit and a search helicopter, while Riverhead police and Southold police also assisted.

With John Valenti and Laura Figueroa

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