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DEM: Sailboat Sinking Kills Two Warwick Boaters

PROVIDENCE – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Law Enforcement is investigating the deaths of a Warwick man and woman during a sailboat sinking in Greenwich Bay Tuesday afternoon.

Robert Puchta, 62, of Warwick, and Luann Cole, 66, also of Warwick were recovered from the water after the  23’ sailboat they were in took on water and sunk. They were unresponsive when recovered, according to the DEM. The victims were recovered by the Marine Task Force boats and brought into the Oakland Beach Boat Ramp.

The vessel has sunken and has not been recovered. Area waters were searched extensively yesterday by several boats, a dive team from Warwick Fire Department and the Warwick Police Department side scan sonar.  DEM, Warwick Fire and Warwick Police continue to search for the vessel.

The victims were Robert Puchta, age 62, from Warwick, and Luann Cole, age 66, also from Warwick.

DEM extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims in this tragic incident.

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The matter remains under investigation by RI Environmental Police, Warwick Fire and Warwick Police.

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