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Family seeks help in finding body of lost boater

By Tess Townsend

Publication: theday.com

Published July 14. 2014 1:39PM   Updated July 16. 2014 5:06PM

Mystic The family of a boater who went missing on May 17 has narrowed down the area of where they believe he fell off his boat and is asking that boaters keep an eye out for his body.

Daniel Strelczuk, 62, of Thompson, was sailing his white 1974 30-foot Dufour sloop, named the Cassiopea, when he went missing between 1 and 7 p.m. while heading back to Spicer’s Marina in Noank from New London after a day watching the Charles W. Morgan’s inaugural trip. His boat was found adrift near Fishers Island.

The family believes, based on photos submitted of Strelczuk’s boat, that he fell off his boat between Bluff Point and Groton Long Point, according to daughter Meg Strelczuk, of Warwick, R.I.

“To this day, my dad still has not been found,” Meg Strelczuk said Monday.

She said that the family hoped to find Strelczuk, who was wearing a red jacket with black accents on the shoulders when he went missing, soon so they could give him a proper burial.

Meg said her family no longer expects to find Strelczuk alive and she commented that it can be difficult to spot a drowned body. She asked that mariners in more remote areas also check around their boats.

“I know there’s a lot more remote areas that I can’t even get to,” she said.

She said her family had held off on arrangements, believing at first that Strelczuk might come back alive. The Strelczuks plan to hold services within the month, she said.

The children of Strelczuk submitted their own DNA samples to New York State Police, which is in charge of the case, two weeks ago, according to Meg Strelczuk.

She said they have also submitted a razor belonging to their father and noted that Connecticut State Police last attempted to locate Strelczuk a month ago using sonar.

There are no known active efforts to find the Strelczuk’s body by local law enforcement. At the time of his disappearance, an extensive search was conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard with aid from police and fire departments in both Connecticut and New York.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection spokesman Dennis Schain said New York assumed responsibility for the investigation when the boat was found in New York waters. He said the state DEEP would be ready to work with New York authorities if the body was discovered in Connecticut.

Groton Police Lt. John Varone, whose department was involved in the search, said he hoped the Strelczuk family could find closure.

t.townsend@theday.com

Editor's note: This version corrects the day Daniel Strelczuk went missing.

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