Police probe R.I. death

Published 10:43 pm Thursday, August 18, 2011

By Gwen Albers

The Tidewater News

NEWPORT, R.I.—Police continue to investigate the death of a Windsor man who drowned while working on a fishing boat in Newport, R.I.

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Justin Gromlich, 27, was found at 6:55 p.m. Aug. 7 floating in the water about 100 yards from where his fishing vessel was docked, said Newport Police Lt. Russell Hayes.

“There were no obvious signs of foul play,” Hayes said.

Police theorize Gromlich may have fallen into the water while walking from one boat to another belonging to the fishing fleet.

“When crossing, he may have fell between the two and maybe suffered an injury, or maybe he fell overboard,” Hayes said.

Police are waiting for toxicology reports from the medical examiner, which can take several weeks.

“Generally if the medical examiner has found anything that looked serious, he would call us,” Hayes said.

Gromlich, who leaves behind his wife, the former Kimberly Naro, and children Lucas, Justin and Dawn, was spotted floating near a commercial yacht dock. Gromlich was wearing a T-shirt with the name of his fishing boat, the Miz Alma B.

“We looked across, less than 100 yards away and see the vessel the Miz Alma B,” Hayes said.

Police spoke with co-workers, two of whom were related to Gromlich and identified him for authorities. Hayes believes one was an in-law and the other an uncle.

“We learned that most of the crew had gone to dinner, and apparently, Justin had stayed behind,” Hayes said.

The fishing vessel, which operated out of Seaford, Va., had arrived in port the day before.