Divers find body of Jet Ski operator in Connecticut River Tuesday afternoon

Staff Report

Published: 05-30-2023 3:39 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — The body of a man missing since the personal watercraft he was operating collided with a boat on the Connecticut River Sunday evening was found Tuesday afternoon, according to the Northwestern district attorney’s office.

Carlos Lopez-Torres, 51, of Springfield, was located in the river, somewhere around South Hadley and Holyoke, said Laurie Loisel, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

“The medial examiner will have to confirm that, but authorities believe it’s him,” Loisel said.

Tuesday was the third day of the search that involved a number of local and state agencies.

David Procopio, spokesman for State Police, said marine units and divers were back in the river, with Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley the base of operations.

In addition to State Police and Massachusetts Environmental Police, local fire and police agencies aided in the search. Among those putting boats into the river were the state police Underwater Recovery Unit, Northampton Fire Department and the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office, using its boat named Marine 2. South Hadley Fire Department ambulances were also on scene, along with several police cruisers.

The people on the boat included the operator, a man from Chicopee, and the passenger, a woman from Agawam. Both were rescued by Environmental Police and were brought to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield for treatment, Loisel said.

— SCOTT MERZBACH

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