sports 4 days ago

Crews recover body from Pachaug Pond

Norwich Bulletin, Conn. — Stephanie Menders Norwich Bulletin, Conn.

Feb. 13--GRISWOLD -- Crews at Pachaug Pond Tuesday afternoon recovered a body from the water, according to Griswold First Selectman Todd Babbitt.

"We are going to need time to wait for positive ID to [be] confirmed," DEEP spokesman Chris Collibee said in an email Tuesday.

The state medical examiner joined Department of Energy and Environmental Protection EnCon Officers and State Police Dive Teams as well as local fire departments at the pond. The pond's boat launch was closed, and officials said they were not releasing the identity of the victim.

Officials said John Dubois, 56, who lived along Pachaug, had fallen through the ice on Dec. 16 while snowmobiling on the pond. Just before 7 p.m. that night, Environmental Conservation Police Officers from DEEP, local fire departments and dive teams, as well as officials and K9 units from state police, searched the pond through the night -- to no avail.

The incident occured about 300 feet from the boat launch, where the ice was about 2 inches thick, Griswold Fire Chief Tom Holowaty said.

"At this time Mr. Dubois is the only missing person from the pond," Collibee said on Tuesday.

Crews had attempted on three occasions to locate Dubois' body in the pond. However, frigid temperatures delayed efforts. Crews had previously resumed the search effort on Dec. 24 and Jan. 9.

Collibee previously said officials were using a ROV system, which is a piece of sonar equipment commonly used in search and rescue operations, in the attempt to locate his body.

During searches of the pond immediately after the incident, officials said the snowmobile had come to rest on a sand bar due to the low level of the pond, but there was no sign of the operator. During the Dec. 24 search, officials said they combed the pond with side-sonar devices. Following the second failed search, officials said they were unsure when they would be able to re-enter the pond given plummeting temperatures and thick ice.

On Jan. 9, the day after a two-week-long severe cold weather protocol ended, crews revisted the pond. No divers were sent into the water because crews were not able to locate the body, officials said.

Snowmobiling is allowed on Pachaug Pond and there are no regulations on the activity.

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