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NYPD Officer Drowns In Long Island River

The body of a drowned NYPD officer was recovered Saturday, one day after he disappeared on a Long Island river during an afternoon kayaking trip with his son.

Patrick Luca, 41, drowned in the mysterious Friday afternoon tragedy on the Nissequogue River, authorities said. A boater on the river found the body nearly a day after Luca was last seen.

The body was returned to shore for transport to a nearby Coast Guard facility, said Petty Officer Erik Swanson.

His 5-year-old son, wearing his life jacket, was found unharmed and floating in the river by another boater after the inflatable kayak capsized. It was unclear what caused the fatal accident.

The child told the Coast Guard that he watched his dad “go down” into the 14-foot deep water after their kayak flipped. The elder Luca wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

The boy was spotted about 75 minutes after the father-son team went into the river in their craft from a boat launch in Kings Point.

The boy’s rescuers told authorities there was no sign of the kayak or the father when they discovered the child around 2:45 p.m.

The kayak was eventually located about 400 yards from the mouth of the river, officials said Saturday.

A frantic but initially fruitless hunt immediately began for the missing cop, with the Coast Guard, Suffolk County police divers and the NYPD Harbor Patrol joining in.

The NYPD sent out four scuba divers to join in the Saturday search mission, with Commissioner Ray Kelly sending prayers to the Luca family in the “heart-wrenching” tragedy.

Luca, a resident of Smithtown, L.I., is a 21-year NYPD veteran assigned to the Recruitment Section. He worked out of police headquarters at One Police Plaza since 2000.

(Source: NY Daily News)

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