Top Stories 2012: Boater Found Dead In Stamford Harbor

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Keith Morris, 30, was a New Rochelle firefighter who died when a boat he was operating flipped in Stamford Harbor in July. Photo Credit: Courtesy of the City of New Rochelle

STAMFORD, Conn. — The following is the tenth of 10 stories The Stamford Daily Voice has chosen to recap the year; they are not ranked in any particular order:

A boat carrying five people, including New Rochelle firefighter Keith Morris, flipped in Stamford Harbor in July. Emergency responders from Stamford and surrounding towns were able to rescue four people, while Morris’ body was found the next day.

He was operating the 27-foot Sea Ray boat at the time of the accident, and drowned after being thrown from the boat, officials said.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection recently ruled that Morris was intoxicated at the time of the crash, with a blood alcohol level of .25, over three times the legal limit.

Passengers Drew Morris - Keith Morris’ brother, and Kristina Caldararo were thrown from the boat and rescued in the open water. The other two, Dinorah Viaira and Anthony Basile, were trapped in the boat for about 40 minutes before fire and rescue divers were able to supply them with a breathing apparatus and save them.

Morris’ body was found about 12 hours after the accident, reportedly in about 15 feet of water.

Since the accident, the cities of New Rochelle and Stamford have recognized Stamford firefighters Joseph Maida and William J. O’Connell, and Darien police Officer Dan Ehret, among others, for the rescue effort that night.

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