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Chaplin Man Charged In Fatal Boating Accident

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The Sunny Side Boat Ramp on the Housatonic River in Shelton. Image from the state of Connecticut Coastal Access Guide.

The Sunny Side Boat Ramp on the Housatonic River in Shelton. Image from the state of Connecticut Coastal Access Guide.

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Chaplin man has been arrested on charges related to a December boating accident on the Housatonic River that led to the death of a passenger.

Authorities say 54-year-old Burt Hamilton was trying to return his boat to a ramp in Shelton when he collided with a dock piling. The passenger, Donald Bessette of Chaplin, fell overboard and drowned.

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Environmental Conservation Police arrested Hamilton on Friday. He is charged with reckless boating, failure to maintain proper lookout, and speed in excess of slow-no-wake zone. Investigators say Bessette was ejected from the boat when it collided with the dock piling.

Hamilton is to appear in Derby Superior Court on April 1.

A phone message left at Hamilton’s address was not immediately returned.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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