Search now a recovery mission for teen swept away in Connecticut River

(WTNH/ Renee Chmiel)

HADDAM, Conn. (WTNH)– The desperate search for a missing teenager who was swept away in the Connecticut River is now a recovery mission, according to police.

Search parties were out there late Sunday night searching for the teen. The brave 17-year-old is still missing after authorities say he tried to save his 19-year-old sister.

On Sunday, multiple agencies converged at Haddam Meadows State Park. Just after 5 p.m., authorities say they got the call about the missing swimmer.

Related: CSP & DEEP search for missing swimmer in Haddam

Police say the teen’s older sister was having trouble getting to shore, and that’s when he went to help, and was swept away. His sister was saved by a nearby boat.

The Coast Guard, firefighters, and police spent hours Sunday combing the water by boat, dive teams, and even by the air. So far, nothing has turned up. Crews came back around 9 this morning. They say because of the time that’s passed and the temperature of the water they’ve turned the search into a recovery operation. Today, they used sonar to look at the bottom of the Connecticut river, boats, and dive teams. Folks around Haddam Meadows State park know how misleading the river can be.

“The river doesn’t look intimidating at all, but there is an under current and we know better than to go in the water,” said Haddam’s Carmelina Chapman.

Art Christianson said, “It gets deep fast and the current is very quick around that island and a lot of people come and picnic and don’t realize that.”

“It’s not a designated swimming area. Obviously, we don’t have lifeguards here,” said ENCON Police’s Col. Kyle Overturf.

The teenager was not wearing a life-jacket. Police say as they continue to search for him, they’d also like to speak with those Good Samaritans who rescued those other family members.

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