Teen identified in Greenwich boating accident - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Teen identified in Greenwich boating accident

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Emily Fedorko Emily Fedorko

The investigation into a boating accident that claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl in Greenwich continued on Thursday.

Emily Fedorko, a junior at Greenwich High School, was tubing from a 21-foot Wahoo boat with a few friends in Long Island Sound on Wednesday when she and another girl were struck by the boat.

"At some point, the girls on the tube became entangled in the prop of the outboard engine," said Lt. Kraig Gray, Greenwich police.

Police said some time between 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. the girls were dislodged from their tube. The operator of the boat made a turn to pick up the tubers and the girls got caught in the propeller. 

The boat operator and her passenger pulled the two girls into boat and transported them to dock at Greenwich Point Park.

The incident happened between one and two miles from the dock on the open waters of Captains Harbor.

Fedorko suffered a significant laceration to torso and was pronounced dead on the scene.

"They found conditions not consistent with life, couldn't attempt any life saving measures," said Greenwich Chief of Police Jim Heavey. 

The chief medical examiner will determine the cause of death. 

Her friend, whose name was not released, required a number of stitches to her leg. She was expected to be OK.

"She's doing well and she's with her at the hospital right now," Ramano Orlando, who is close friends with the victim. 

Two other girls, who were between the ages of 15 to 16, were on the boat, but were not hurt. There were no adults on the boat, police said. 

Police said a father of one of the girls owns the boat. In Connecticut, boaters need to be at least 16 years old to have a boating certificate.

"The boat safety certificate allows you to operate recreational vessels and that would be included in the vessel she was operating," Heavey said. 

The owner of the boat's 16 year-old daughters who had the proper certification to operate the boat was driving.

Her uncle told Eyewitness Newss the family is completely shocked and horrified and can't even begin to imagine the pain and loss of Fedorko's family.

Police said the incident appeared to be an accident, but the investigation was ongoing.

"Initial assessment right now is that it appears to be a very tragic accident," Gray said. 

The incident remains under investigation by the Greenwich Police Department Marine Unit and the EnCon police.

"We're moving forward with our investigation. There are a lot of pieces that have to be clarified. We are speaking to everyone who was involved," Gray said.

Fedorko, who was an honors student, was supposed to start her junior year at Greenwich High School this year. Fedorko was one of three children and her family was actively involved in Greenwich Public Schools. 

"Any loss of life is a hit, but really a hit when such a vibrant member of the Greenwich community," said Greenwich Superintendent of Schools William Mckersie.

Mckersie said all four girls on the vessel were "deep longtime friends" and going to be juniors at Greenwich High School.

"As Greenwich high opens in a couple of weeks, we need to be ready to provide support for all of these girls," Mckersie said. "This is going to be a challenge but we'll be ready with support to address it."

Greenwich Public Schools will provide counseling services including more than 20 counselors at Greenwich High School and Eastern Middle School on Thursday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

McKersie said "it's not just today, but the next couple of months," when commenting on the availability of counselors. He added that it will be a challenge for the school community, but resources are in place. 

"This was a very healthy, active, vibrant member of our community, very active family in our schools," Mckersie said.

For fellow Greenwich High School students, it's a shock knowing one of their own is gone.

"You've got to cherish every moment you have with everyone you're with because you never know when it could happen," said Matthew Lanagan of Greenwich.

Town officials are asking for anyone who saw anything to contact police at 203-622-8000.

"Our heart aches for this family. It's a profound loss, there is nothing else one can say," said Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei. 

Tesei said he hopes that the community will come together to support the family. 

"It's dependent on human nature to try to find support for them… instead of focusing on specifics of accident," Tesei said.

For more information on school and community counseling options, click here

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