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Police find Ridgewood man dead in water, friend charged

A Coast Guard boat searches the Rockaway Inlet after a jet-skier was reported missing in 2009.
Photo by Christina Santucci
By Steve Mosco

Authorities said a body found floating in the waters of East Rockaway, L.I., Friday is that of a Ridgewood man who disappeared after a boating trip with a friend.

Police said that friend has been charged with boating while intoxicated.

Stanislaw Nawrocki, 57, was fishing with his friend in a 26-foot, 1990 Bayliner last Thursday afternoon when he fell into the water, Nassau County police said.

Nawrocki’s friend, a 54-year-old homeless man named Janusz Sowa, was stopped by the Nassau County Marine Bureau near Crow’s Nest Marina in Oceanside, L.I. and told authorities his friend was missing — more than 90 minutes after Nawrocki fell into the water, police said.

Nawrocki’s body was found the following day by the NYPD Harbor Unit, who turned it over to Nassau County authorities.

Cops alleged that Sowa had a blood alcohol level of .17 — well above the legal limit of .08 — while he was operating the inflatable motorboat. Sowa was arraigned Friday on a charge of operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol and is being held on $100,000 bond, according to Nassau County police.

Nassau County prosecutors at Hempstead District Court said Sowa was placed on immigration hold by U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, and authorities said he will be deported following a court appearance this week.

Reach reporter Steve Mosco by e-mail at smosco@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.

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