EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- Crews with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) suspended their recovery search on Sunday afternoon for a man who police said went overboard into the waters of the Connecticut River on Saturday afternoon. 

Officials with DEEP identified the victim as 39-year-old Hartford resident Ivan De Jesus Morales Mencia.

"It's tough, it's devastating for all of us going through this we've done this numerous times. It's never fun trying to recover someone and telling their family they lost a loved one," said DEEP ENCON Police Captain Keith Williams on Sunday morning.  

DEEP Spokesperson Lee Sawyer confirmed to Channel 3 the hours-long search was suspended at 8 p.m. on Saturday. Sawyer said the recovery efforts resumed on Sunday morning.

Crews began searching the waters of the Connecticut River in East Hartford for a man witnesses said fell off a boat into the water.

Officials with DEEP said Mencia fell off the boat and was swept under by the current. Passengers and the operator of the boat threw flotation devices to Mencia, but officials said he could not grab on.

East Hartford Police Department Lieutenant Josh Litwin told Channel 3 fire and police crews were called to the railroad bridge in East Hartford around 2:15 p.m. for reports that a man jumped from a boat into the water and was swept under by the current. 

Captain Williams said crews will be using sonar in hopes of making a recovery on Sunday. He said crews will not go into the water until they get a hit on their scanner because of the dangerous conditions in the water. 

There were five people on the boat on Saturday, Captain Williams confirmed. He said officials are not sure why the man left the vessel. Captain Williams said they have no reason at this time to believe foul play was involved. 

Lt. Litwin told Channel 3 that witnesses said they did not see the man resurface.

DEEP crews, East Hartford Fire and Police, and Hartford Fire crews are assisting in the search for the man.

This story is developing. Stay with Channel 3 for updates.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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