Multiple water rescues follow squall in Stamford, kayakers possibly missing
STAMFORD — A fast-moving squall generating strong winds and hail led to multiple calls for help for boaters at Wallack’s Point and Stamford Harbor on Sunday, officials said.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Sunday, 911 received calls for assistance from and for people in rowboats, kayaks and canoes. Rescuers were able to save two pairs of boaters. After an hours-long search they could not find a third, but said there were signs they might have been able to get out of the water on their own.
A man and his nephew had to be rescued from Wallack’s Point after they turned over their canoe and were stuck on the rocks. Stamford police and fire boats quickly got to the location and rescued them, said Stamford Deputy Fire Chief Tom Gloersen and Stamford Police Sgt. Kevin Fitzgibbons.
Fitzgibbons said he estimated the winds were gusting to 40 to 50 miles per hour during the fast-moving squall.
Police received another distress call about two people in an orange kayak. A female resident on Wallack’s Point called 911 to report the pair struggling in the kayak and said it appeared they could not paddle against the wind.
The man who was saved in the canoe on Wallack’s Point said he saw the pair in the kayak. He told police they were two men, and he last saw them drifting toward Darien.
Police, fire and Coast Guard vessels along with marine police from Greenwich and Darien searched for the kayak into the night, but were unable to find anyone, Fitzgibbons said.
Coast Guard Ensign Colin Reichelt said that at 8:35 p.m. the search was suspended pending further information or developments.
Fitzgibbons said Monday afternoon police have not been able to find any abandoned cars in places where the kayakers would have likely launched from, such as Cove Island Park, and no one associated with a kayak has been reported missing since the storm.
“We don’t know if the two men got out alone,” he said.
Calls also came in for two people stranded on Flint Rocks in Stamford Harbor.
Fitzgibbons said their row boat got away from them in the storm, and they were picked up and brought to shore.
Already this year, one kayaker has died after getting stuck in strong winds and waves off Wallack’s Point and two others had to be rescued in the same place. On April 26, Oscar Castillo, 22, of Danbury drowned while kayaking off Wallack’s Point. Three weeks later, two adults had to be rescued when their kayaks turned over in rough waters there.