Officials say the body of 41-year-old Patrick Luca was found in the Nissequogue River by a passing boater around noon Saturday about a mile west of where he was last seen, and about a half mile off the beach, said Coast Guard search and rescue controller Mark Averill.
“The NYPD and the entire city suffered a tragic loss today,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement. He added that the city owed “a tremendous debt of gratitude” to the boaters who rescued the officer’s son.
1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan reports Download: patrick-luca.%20mp3
Luca and his 5-year-old son had been kayaking in Smithtown Bay Friday when Luca disappeared around 3 p.m.
The little boy was found by good Samaritans bobbing in the water and shaking violently. He was wearing a life jacket and his inflatable kayak was also found.
The boy told rescuers his father, who wasn’t wearing a life jacket, went under and never resurfaced. Crews have been searching a 25 square mile radius for Luca through the night and into the morning Saturday.
The body has not yet been formally identified, but the officer was still carrying his wallet and a firearm issued by the NYPD.
The Coast Guard, Suffolk County police, the NYPD and local law enforcement were all helping with the search.
“There’s been a lot of effort to try to find this man.” Coast Guard spokesman Erik Swanson said early Saturday morning.
Deputy Inspector Harold Jantzen with the Suffolk County Police Marine Bureau said the boy is doing excellent adding that “there are no ill effects” of his exposure to the 70-degree water.
Saturday, New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly issued a statement that said in part “On behalf of the New York City Police Department, I extend deepest condolences to the family and friends of Officer Luca, and our appreciation to the Suffolk County police for their support.”
NYPD helicopters and divers also joined the search and were using sonar to try to find the missing officer.
Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.
(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)