SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – Emergency crews from South Hadley and Northampton are searching the Connecticut River in the area of Brunelle’s Marina for a missing jet skier.
When our 22News crews arrived at the scene, they could see several ambulances, boats of first responders, and divers heading out into the river. Yellow tape was also being put up to block off the area of the river being accessed by search teams.
State Police Spokesperson Dave Procopio told 22News that there was a crash on Sunday between a jet ski and a boat. The person on the jet ski is still missing. The Massachusetts State Police searched the river Sunday night along with Massachusetts Environmental Police and local public safety agencies but did not locate the missing jet skier.
According to Laurie Loisel of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, the missing jet skier is a 51-year-old man from Springfield. There was a man and a woman on the boat and they were both taken to Baystate Medical Center for treatment. The boater is from Chicopee and the passenger is from Agawam.
The incident was reported from around 9:00 p.m. on Sunday until 11:00 p.m., and the search is resuming on Monday and involves marine assets, divers, and their Air Wing. Crews pulled the boat out of the river Monday morning, damage could be seen along the side. Easthampton Police have closed the Route 5 boat ramp due to the investigation.
“I don’t even know what to say anymore. It’s a tragedy,” said Luke Brunelle, owner of Brunelle’s Marina, he was there shortly after the crash. He told 22News this is it’s an important reminder why everyone out on the water needs to be careful.
“A life jacket should have been super important in this situation and if you’re telling me that they’re looking for the jet skier, he should have been wearing a life jacket. I can’t even imagine,” said Brunelle.
It’s unclear if the jet skier was in fact wearing a life jacket at the time of the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation. The search for the missing jet skier will resume Tuesday morning.
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