Missing Boater’s Body Found in South Watuppa Pond in Fall River

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III

District Attorney

Press Release

July 19, 2016

After more than two days of searching, the body of missing boater, Emerson Belirio, was discovered early this morning in South Watuppa Pond in Fall River. The deceased was located by Fall River Harbor Master Robert Smith shortly before 7 a.m. today in the pond.

The body is now in the custody of the state Medical Examiner’s Office.

Fall River Police received a call around 4:45 pm Saturday regarding a man overboard in the pond. Rescue personnel responded to the Dave’s Beach boat ramp and began searching for Mr. Belirio in the pond. The search continued until nightfall, and was then suspended until this morning. The search continued all day Sunday and for most of the day Monday before being found early this morning.

District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn would like to specifically thank the Fall River Police, Fall River Fire, the Environmental Police, Fall River Emergency Management, the Fall River Harbor Master, Massachusetts State Police Air Wing, Massachusetts State Police trooper Ann Marie Robertson who is assigned to this office and Bob Anderson of Ocean Server Technology for their tireless efforts to search for Mr. Belirio and bring closure to his loved ones.

The preliminary investigation has determined Mr. Belirio was a passenger on a 20-foot Sea King Cabin Cruiser. He, along with his fiance, their two children, and another married couple who own the boat were all on the vessel at the time of the incident.

The boat was somewhere near the center of the lake when Mr. Belirio jumped into the water while wearing an unsecured life jacket. Mr. Belirio quickly went underwater and did not re-emerge.

Foul play is not suspected at this time, nor does it appear that alcohol had any role in the incident.


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications