Farmington River drowning victim identified - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Farmington River drowning victim identified

Posted: Updated:
Crews searched the Farmington River for a man the drowned.. (WFSB) Crews searched the Farmington River for a man the drowned.. (WFSB)
FARMINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

The body of man in his early 20s was recovered from the Farmington River in Farmington Wednesday night.

Police identified him as 22-year-old Michael Omagbon of Waterbury.

Rescuers spent much of the evening searching for victim after a group of friends were in the river near Tunxis Meade Drive when they told police they noticed a man struggling in the water.

Amber Walton said she was in the water when the first rescue boat arrived.

"We were just down at the dock chillin', swimming and then the cop came down and he just asked if we saw somebody in the water that went missing," she said.

Police said Omagbon had been swimming without a life jacket with a small group of friends.

Farmington Police worked with state police and Farmington firefighters on the search. Dive teams, boats, state police helicopter Trooper 1 and K9 units also assisted in the search.

"We had a canine in the water," said Lt. Patrick Buckley, Farmington police. "[It's] kind of narrowed us to a particular area. And then a helicopter kind of verified that as well.  And then a dive team was using sonar and they pinpointed an exact location."

Investigators said they pulled Omagbon's body from the water less than 100 yards from where he started struggling to stay afloat.

They said the river looks calm, but it can be dangerous.

"There's ledges and drop-offs, like I said," Buckley said. "So it is very unpredictable."

Police said they are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong.

Walton said she can't believe a small group of swimmers like her friends are dealing with the unthinkable.

"It's crazy," she said. "You would never think it would happen."

Police said they do not believe alcohol was a factor.

They also said swimming in the river without a life vest is not illegal, but it's risky.

Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.