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Milford swimmer found dead

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UPDATE: The body of Brian Bakunas, 34, of Milford  was found off of Smith’s Point by Milford Police.

The Coast Guard also corrected an earlier press release that stated Bakunas’ age as 40.

ORIGINAL POST: The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a search of the waters off Milford today looking for a man who was seen swimming in the rough waters Monday night

The Coast Guard said  Brian Bakunas, 34, was last seen swimming in heavy surf near the Walnut Beach Pier shortly before 8 p.m.

Waves were at record levels at the time and winds were gusting at more than 40 mph.

Bakunas is the second person missing off the Milford coast.

A kayaker is also still missing after he became distressed early Sunday morning. Another man was pulled to safety by emergency responders.

The Coast Guard searched the Sound along with Milford police and firefighters, but had to abandon their effort after the waters became too rough. Police have not yet identified the kayakers, but said both are 21.

According to WFSB, two people talked to Bakunas, who told them he was planning on getting in the water to swim.

When he did, the two people said the strong tide pulled him out into the water and he could not swim back to shore, WFSB reported.

One of the people ran to call 911 while the other kept watch over Bakunas as he was struggling, but eventually went under the water and never surfaced, the station reported.

Categories: Weather
Jim Shay

20 Responses

  1. Olga says:

    What a tremendous tragedy. My prayers go out to his family and friends.

  2. H. Johnson says:

    A young life is lost and family and friends are grieving. Brian was 34, not 40, but what’s the difference? Every day, people of all ages lose their lives from accidents, mistakes, big or small lapses in judgement. No one knows what happened, but nothing diminishes the value of Brian’s life or the tragedy of his loss. I know that he had to deal with more in his short life than most of us ever could; I hope he had many good times, too. Rest in peace, Spike. Prayers and deepest sympathy to the Bakunas family.

  3. Darlene Chulak says:

    Persons of strength find ways to support others and remain silent if they cannot. We are glad that Bryan’s character did not subscribe to some of the weaknesses indicated above. Sincere sympathy to Bryan’s friends & family. We hope they will find his light from the brilliance of his shining star. Sincerely, Benito Luigi,(Louie) & Mom

  4. Benito Luigi, (Louie) & Mom says:

    Persons of strength do not find the need to put others down. Lets celebrate that this young man did not subscribe to the theory of putting others down. Persons of strength find ways to always support others and to remain silent, if they cannot. Sincere sympathy to all Bryan’s friends and family. May they find him under the light of his brightest star. Benito Luigi,(Louie) & Mom

  5. Benito Luigi, (Louie) & Mom says:

    Strong people don’t find the need to put others down. Rather, they know when and how to support others when they need it the most. And the wisest people just don’t comment at all if they can’t be strong. Sincere sympathy to all of the friends and family of this young man. And may we at least celebrate his life knowing he did not subscribe to the lack of character that is indicated above. Rest in peace, Bryan. Your family will find you under your brightest star.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Wow, bunch of cowards, talkin [expletive deleted by moderator] about a dead guy. Brian was troubled for sure, and if you knew him at all, especially the last few years, a suicide attempt shouldn’t be ruled out. Regardless, a poor decision that cost nothing to anyone else, should not cost this family the dignity of their son or brother. Things happen in life sometimes, that are out of your control. In these instances a wise man would reflect on his own good fortune, and be thankful that these cards have not landed in front of him. As for You mouth breathing humps who think its OK to berate a dead guy just because you disagree with, or harbor some kind of personal resentment toward the circumstances surrounding his death, I hope you don’t reproduce, your children will be exactly what this world does not need. As for Spike, he was a good guy. He was deeply troubled and I hope he’s found peace. Pretend like your son died before you shoot your mouth off…what a bunch of Inconsiderate, ignorant, and disrespectful fools. You make Snookie look like Ghandi. Congratulations

  7. brittany says:

    R.I.P. Brian My prayers go out to your family and friends as I am one of them. Brian did do some crazy things, but who was to know this would be his last. Sad day

  8. Melissa says:

    I knew him. He was a good friend of our family. What he did was very stupid, but he was a great man and his family I’m sure are devastated. It should be known that no searching was conducted during the storm, they waited until this morning to go looking for him so that no one would be in danger. I’d also like to thank Tom, and G, for their kind words. His life was a short and sad one. Whoever he was with most likely tried to talk him out of it, but is whole life he did crazy things and he didn’t survive this time. He will be missed by those who knew him.

  9. anonymous says:

    Show some respect. With the death of a person comes incredible grief. His family is in incredible pain over the loss of their loved one. What if one of your children had some problem they kept to themselves and they made the rational decision to jump in this dangerous water as a result. Now go online and see assholes posting disrespectful comments such as some of the above. Pray for the man and his family, refrain from smart ass remarks, or don’t say anything. There is no need for calling the deceased names over the internet for what they have done. It’s a shame that people act like this over the death of another human being. All lives are important.

  10. Ivanna Humphalott says:

    This reminds me….I need to buy fish food for my exotic freshwater pets.

  11. Cindy says:

    The tradgedy is that rescuers have to waste their time “saving” jack asses like this one as well as those who refuse to evacuate when told to do so.

  12. Lorn says:

    What an idiot!!! Why should emergency services waste their time looking for him!!!

  13. Robby says:

    It’s a terrible shame to see any loss of life. I feel badly for the families of these two men. That being said, we need to be smarter about kayaking (especially without a life vest) and swimming in storm waters. These two men lost their lives and put the search and rescue teams (who also have families) at risk.

  14. Joan Simon says:

    It is a tragedy which happened, simply because a few individuals wanted to challenge Mother Nature and the severe storm warnings which were issued. Prayers and thoughts offered to the family and friends of the lost individual. Sad story, which didn’t have to happen and an awful lesson that was learned, albeit, too late. Feel just sadness for all involved.

  15. G says:

    This is a response for poster #2: Such a strong statement for one that wasn’t there. We don’t know everything that happened. Who knows what troubles this individual may have had with his life, for example? Also, no one is mentioning the two witnesses who seemed to know the individual in question. Did they goad him? Did they jokingly push him in, and then tell police he jumped, to save face? What was anyone doing on the pier in the first place? Etc, etc, etc. #2, I hope nothing bad, or accidental happens to you where you need the support and compassion of the community.

    That’s all I’m saying. I won’t be back to rebuttle any further.

  16. mark says:

    dumb ass. no sympathy here. way to put rescue personnel in danger for no reason.

  17. RichardLV says:

    They will need to change Charles Island to Galapagos Island. Two Darwin Awards in one week in Milford…

  18. Tom says:

    Pete,
    Yes a poor decision was made…and yes he wasnt very smart. But He does have family! You ever think that the “efforts” were made for the family? so they have “closure”????
    And if they bill him or his family…then FEMA, the state and the local governments should NEVER assist with the assholes who build their homes on beaches when they KNOW hurricanes can hit…to me…they are the stupid assholes!!!
    just sayin

  19. pete says:

    Dont spend one second looking for this stupid arse. Bill his family for the time wasted looking for this 40 year old idiota.

  20. Mark says:

    40 years of life over with one incredibly bad decision. What a terrible shame.