Shelton Boating Accident Victim Identified

He was aboard a boat that was in an accident on the Housatonic River in Shelton, police say.

Update, Dec. 11:

The 55-year-old boater who died in a crash on the Housatonic River has been identified as Donald A. Bessette of Chaplin, according to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Bessette's obituary, posted on The Potter Funeral Home's website, says his greatest love was fishing.

"From the time his grampy snuck him out of school to spend the day on the Connecticut River to the more recent times when his passion turned to salt water fishing and the shore of Rhode Island."

For information on funeral services, click here.

Update at 8:45 p.m. Dec. 7:

The unidentified man, a 55-year-old, is currently listed in critical condition at Griffin Hospital, according to a report just released by Shelton police.

He was pulled from the river less than 15 minutes after the initial call, at 6:50 p.m., and was not breathing, police said.

The call 911 came in at that time that a group of people were on a boat on the Housatonic River when the boat struck an object and one of the men fell overboard south of the Sunnyside boat ramp, the report states.

The state Department of Environmental and Energy Protection (DEEP) also responded and is leading the investigation.

The original report follows:

Dive teams from the Shelton police and fire departments have pulled a person from the waters of the Housatonic River in Shelton.

The status of the victim remains unknow, but the unidentified person was transported to Griffin Hospital, according to Shelton Fire Chief Frances Jones. He would not comment as to the condition of the patient prior to transport.

Jones said Shelton firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel responded to the river just before 7 p.m., near Southside Park, on report of a man overboard from a boating accident.


There were a total of three people involved, Jones said. Two did not require medical attention.

Shelton Patch will update this article with more information as it is released.


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