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Watertown man dies in Rhode Island, friends recover his body

Posted by Ralph Ranalli July 3, 2007 12:52 PM

WATERTOWN

The Coast Guard called off the search for Phillip Stevens at 11 p.m. Sunday, almost 35 hours after he was last seen fishing in choppy water near Brenton Reef.

But members of the Freediving Club were not ready to give up the search for their friend, the president of the Massachusetts chapter and a regular organizer of tournaments involving Rhode Island spear fishermen, the Providence Journal reports today.

“We wanted to do everything we could to recover our brother,” said Robert Marvelle, of Newport, who joined the Rhode Island Freediving Club four years ago at Stevens’ urging. “We were persistent. It was very important to us not to let him just sit out there.”

They discovered his body yesterday at 1:30 p.m. at Prices Point, east of Brenton Reef, after six hours of searching.

Four hours later, a member of the Warwick Police Department dive team recovered the body, and it was transported in a state Department of Environmental Management patrol boat to the Castle Hill Coast Guard station, where the state medical examiner identified the body, according to DEM spokeswoman Gail Mastrati.

Read more here about the search for Stevens.

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