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Search Goes On for Man Reported Missing in Keyport Harbor

The Morganville man was said to have gone out to his boat Friday night, moored at the Keyport Yacht Club. He was reported missing Saturday night.

UPDATE: Developments in this story were posted later in the day. See Body Recovered in Keyport Harbor.

Emergency departments from Monmouth County shore towns are searching lower Raritan Bay outside of Keyport this morning, looking for Savino Mazzilli, 57, of Ironwood Lane in Morganville.

According to Keyport Police Chief George Casaletto, Mazzilli was last seen on Friday night around 11:30 p.m. when he took a small dingy out to his boat, a 33-foot Sea Ray, moored among the boats at the Keyport Yacht Club. Mazzilli told his wife he would spend the night on his boat.

His wife Doreen tried to contact him by cellphone during the Keyport Yacht Club's annual regatta Saturday night and got no answer. Police were contacted around 11 p.m.

Keyport Fire Department and First Aid immediately searched the area around his boat last night. The Zodiac was attached to the boat. Officer Mike Venick donned scuba gear and searched the water for an hour, accompanied by Chief Casaletto.

Early Sunday morning Coast Guard helicopters searched the water using a boat from Station Sandy Hook and a helicopter from Station Atlantic City.  Downtown Keyport was filled with emergency response teams and onlookers. Mazzilli's wife sat on a curb in the heat, surrounded by supporters. She declined comment.

Over at nearby Keyport Yacht Club, members sat at tables with their eyes trained on the scene before them. Saturday night was their annual regatta, and once the tragic news began to spread some stayed up all night in vigil. Gary Korkala, a member since 1976, said it was a shock to members. "Nothing like this has happened before," he said.

Senior member Charlie Bernheim said he knew Mazzilli, who joined the club "two or three years ago." Bernheim said Mazzilli spent a lot of time on his boat and that it was not unusual that he, or other members, slept on the sailboats moored in the harbor.

"Sal's always been a confident swimmer. He doesn't drink much," he said. "It's very unusual, very strange, because if he had fallen in the water he could have climbed into the dingy."

He added, "It would be a real tragedy if something happened. Everyone is trying to keep their spirits up."

The boat launch, First Stree parking lot and bayside promenade were filled with members of the Monmouth County Marine Task Force and onlookers.

Dive Team and Water Rescue Squads came from Keyport Fire and First Aid; Highlands Fire; Atlantic Highlands Fire and First Aid; Union Beach Fire; Laurence Harbor Fire; the Sandy Hook National Park Service, and Middletown, Leonardo, and Fairview Squads.

Also responding were Monmouth County Mass Casualty; Union Beach EMS; Keyport Office of Emergency Management; Monmouth County helicopter; Monmouth County Fire Marshal Department, the Keyport Fire Ladies Auxiliary and the Salvation Army.

Read the latest on this story:

nascarfan June 10, 2012 at 08:58 PM
The Asbury Park Press website reports that his body has been recovered.

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