STONINGTON — The Marine Patrol confirmed Saturday that a Stonington lobsterman died Friday afternoon while fishing near Marshall Island in Jericho Bay.
According to Sgt. Troy Dow, the body of 59-year-old Wayne “Butch” Ciomei was found in the water late Friday afternoon tangled in pot warp. His boat, the 36-foot Chelsea Lynn, was found aground, still running on a ledge west of Marshall Island.
The cause of Ciomei’s death had not been determined and remains under investigation, a representative of the family said Monday morning.
Dow said the Marine Patrol received a call around 4:30 p.m. Friday from one of Ciomei’s sons, who reported that his father was overdue returning from a day of fishing. The elder Ciomei had spoken with his wife around 11 a.m. and said he would be returning home after hauling one more string of lobster traps, Dow said.
The Marine Patrol vessel Dirigo II was already underway when the younger Ciomei reported his father missing and was diverted to the area. A 47-foot Coast Guard rescue boat from Southwest Harbor and other fishing boats joined the search.
Ciomei was found by his son at about 5:30 p.m. and taken to the Stonington Fish Pier aboard the Marine Patrol vessel.
“Since this was a commercial vessel, the Coast Guard will do an investigation,” Dow said. In the circumstances, he continued, “there will probably be some unanswered questions.”