MILFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — The family of a New York doctor who died Saturday after falling off a boat in the Long Island Sound is in mourning Sunday.
As police investigated the deadly fall, his mother spoke exclusively to CBS2’s Jessica Borg.
“He will be so sorely missed by his family and colleagues,” the Dr. Richard Melucci’s mother Roseanne said Sunday afternoon.
Melucci — known as Ricky — was an anesthesiologist on Long Island. He died while boating with his wife Saturday night on the Long Island Sound near Milford, CT. His mother says his children and siblings — gathered for Easter — are in shock.
“The most caring, responsible, dear person that ever walked the face of the Earth,” Roseanne said.
Melucci was an avid boater and was on his new 25-foot vessel around 6 p.m. Saturday when his day on the water turned tragic.
“The winds changed, the current whatever it was on the Sound and that happened and he was on the top deck and lost his footing,” Roseanne said.
His wife Maryanne was below the deck and heard the splash.
She attempted to throw a life ring out several times without success, according to Captain Kieth Williams of the Connecticut State Police.
“Ultimately the vessel drifted about a mile away from where the incident occurred,” he added.
Divers found his body in the frigid water nearly an hour later. His family says he was dedicated to his work and spent countless hours with patients at John T Mather Memorial Hospital in Port Jefferson.
Melucci took steps to help curb the opioid epidemic on Long Island, helping his patients with pain management. Now, his family is planning to bury the 43-year-old father.