DA: Body That Washed Up on Salisbury Beach Was Missing Boater

A body that washed up on Salisbury Beach on Monday has been identified as a boater who went missing last week.

The Essex County District Attorney's Office said the body has been positively identified as Chhoeun Chhoun, 44, of Lowell. Chhoun went missing after his boat capsized on the afternoon of June 6 near the mouth of the Merrimack River.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Salisbury police and fire and the town's harbormaster attempted to locate him, without success. The crew of a Coast Guard vessel spotted him facedown and apparently unconscious in the water. But while attempting to rescue him, the boat was struck by an eight- to 10-foot breaking wave and they lost sight of him.

A second person who was in the boat was rescued from a nearby jetty.

Neither boater was wearing a lifejacket.

"While this is a tragic loss, it will hopefully bring some closure for Mr. Chhoun's family and friends," Salisbury police Chief Thomas Fowler said.

Police recovered Chhoun's body around 11 a.m. Monday after receiving a 911 call reporting that a body had been pulled ashore by beachgoers.

Aerial footage from Sky Ranger showed a white tarp over the body, surrounded by yellow police tape. Many beachgoers had blankets and umbrellas set up just a short distance away.

Joseph Ranagan told The Daily News of Newburyport he was playing football about 15 yards from the shore when he saw what looked like a body floating a few yards away. He said he grabbed ahold of the corpse and began bringing it back to the beach before calling for help.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us