The body of a missing kayaker was pulled from Long Island Sound, off of Old Saybrook, Tuesday according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The victim, 18-year-old William Zadrozny, of Clinton, went missing on Memorial Day. His capsized kayak was found near the mouth of the Connecticut River later that day. A personal flotation device and fishing gear were found attached to the kayak, officials said.
“It sucks losing a brother and I hope no one ever has to go through this,” said friend Ivan Villanueva.
He said Zadrozny, known by many as Billy, was his gym buddy, his wingman and most importantly his brother. Villanueva was at Zadrozny’s home almost every day of senior year of high school.
Zadrozny loved to fish.
“Actually showed me how to throw my first cast. I visited that place not too long ago. Put some fireworks out for him,” Villanueva said.
Michael Brown said he’s seen Zadrozny fishing since he was 6 years old at Saybrook Point.
“He could barely reach over the fence,” Brown said. “But he insisted that he was fishing and he caught more fish than anybody else.”
The news hurts, Brown said.
“I came down (last) Tuesday and I didn’t know. I ran into his parents right here near the fence. I said, ‘What’s wrong?’ They said, ‘Billy’s missing.’ And I fell apart,” Brown said.
Classmates said Zadrozny was an athlete and played baseball and football.
“It was always entertaining because he would always have something to say and his favorite song was ‘Stand By Me.’ He would always play that,” said former classmate Karla Rivadeneira.
While she didn’t know him too well she described Zadrozny as funny and had a personality that was almost indescribable.
“It’s so devastating that this happened to him and I know at least he was doing something that he loved,” Rivadeneira said.
“I know he’s up there catching 100-pound, 1,000-pound bass with the big man,” Villanueva said.