Kayaker reported missing in Shetucket River in Norwich

New London

NORWICH, Conn. (WTNH) – A grieving family gathers on the banks of the Shetucket River. Their cries carry to the other side as they scream out in anguish.

For most of Monday state police, the DEEP, and Norwich police used boats equipped with side scan sonar and divers to search for Karl Nickens Joseph who fell into the frigid water Sunday night.

The family releasing his name and his friend Daniel Busby remembering that awful moment.

“I was frozen. I couldn’t move at all. I didn’t even know what to do when he flipped over,” says Busby.

Four friends taking turns on a kayak until Karl got caught in the current just after 10 o’clock Friday night and couldn’t paddle his way back.

One friend tried to save him.

“He stripped down and just jumped in and that water’s freezing and he almost drowned himself,” says Busby.

Busby says the victim who wasn’t wearing a life preserver was a junior at Norwich Free Academy where counselors are on staff if they are needed.

Those who know this river know it is dangerous.

“The water rushes pretty rapidly here especially in the springtime after we’ve had a lot of snow so it’s a lot more dangerous than people think,” says Mike Riccardi who lives on North Main Street near the Greenville Dam.

“I mean I met him back in eighth grade,” remembers Busby. “We’ve been through quite a bit. We hang out all the time.”

Daniel tries to hold out hope while Karl’s family releases pictures and his name along with a plea asking everyone to look for him.

“They’re going to be so torn and he’s got a little brother,” says Busby. “He’s like six or seven I don’t know who they’re going to tell him.”

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